The Big Match
The Network Years
1983/84 - 1987/88
1983/84 | 1984/85 | 1985/86 | 1986/87 | 1987/88
League Soccer (1983/84
The following lists detail the games covered exclusively for transmission overseas with ITV commentators. Thames TV were responsible for the majority of match coverage and included them on Big League Soccer, which had been the highlights series for export since 1979 (ending with the close of season 1987/88). The programme would also include BBC footage but was always produced by Thames.
"Big League Soccer" plugged the gap created by ITV's VT editing dispute with BBC footage plus Scottish League action from STV.
3 (Meade 3) Watford 1 (Johnston) *Brian Moore (shown live in Scandinavia)
14/Jan Luton Town 1 (Kay(og)) Arsenal 2 (Sansom, Woodcock) *Brian Moore
21/Jan West Ham United 1 (Cottee) West Bromwich A. 0 *Brian Moore (shown live in Scandinavia)
During the first half of season 1985/86, due to the TV football blackout, nothing of the following list of fixtures could be shown on British TV, not even goal clips a week later on the Saint & Greavsie show, but clips from most matches were included on a home video presented by Brian Moore released in time for Christmas 1985.
1 (Allinson(pen)) Manchester United 2 (Hughes, McGrath) *Brian Moore
31/Aug West Ham United 2 (McAvennie 2) Liverpool 2 (Johnston, Whelan) *Martin Tyler
07/Sep Tottenham Hotspur 5 (Falco, Chiedozie 2, Hoddle, Hazard) Newcastle United 1 (Davies) *Peter Brackley
14/Sep Manchester City 0 Manchester United 3 (Robson(pen), Albiston, Duxbury) *Brian Moore
21/Sep Everton 2 (Sharp, Lineker) Liverpool 3 (Dalglish, Rush, McMahon) *Peter Brackley
28/Sep Watford 3 (Barnes, Blissett, Terry) Chelsea 1 (Rougvie) *Martin Tyler
05/Oct Nottingham Forest 3 (Pearce, Bowyer 2) Ipswich Town 1 (Atkins) *Brian Moore
12/Oct Oxford United 1 (Hebberd) Luton Town 1 (Stein) *Martin Tyler
19/Oct Manchester United 1 (McGrath) Liverpool 1 (Johnston) *Peter Brackley
26/Oct Chelsea 1 (McLaughlin) Manchester United 2 (Olsen, Hughes) *Brian Moore
02/Nov Southampton 1 (Puckett) Tottenham Hotspur 0 *Martin Tyler
09/Nov Watford 1 (Talbot) Aston Villa 1 (Gray) *Peter Brackley
16/Nov Manchester United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 *Brian Moore
23/Nov Coventry City 0 West Ham United 1 (McAvennie) *Martin Tyler
30/Nov Aston Villa 1 (Walters) Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Mabbutt, Falco) *Peter Brackley
07/Dec Queens Park Rangers 0 West Ham United 1 (McAvennie) *Brian Moore
14/Dec Arsenal 2 (Nicholas, Quinn) Liverpool 0 *Martin Tyler
21/Dec Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1 (Nicholas) *Peter Brackley
28/Dec Chelsea 2 (Dixon, Spackman(pen)) Tottenham Hotspur 0 *Brian Moore
Further known exclusive matches
covered after the blackout had come to an end.....
11/Jan Leicester City 0 West Ham United 1 (McAvennie) *Martin Tyler
18/Jan Sheffield Wednesday 2 (Shotton(og), Marwood) Oxford United 1 (Slatter) *Peter Brackley
01/Feb Ipswich Town 2 (D'Avray, Wilson) Liverpool 1 (Whelan) *Martin Tyler
08/Feb Chelsea 1 (Bumstead) Oxford United 4 (Rhoades-Brown, Charles, Hebberd, Aldridge) *Peter Brackley
01/Mar Southampton 1 (Cockerill) Manchester United 0 *Peter Brackley, played in snow
12/Apr Arsenal 0 Everton 1 (Heath) *Martin Tyler
English clubs who would have qualified for Europe took part in a domestic "Super Cup" and some of these matches were broadcast on the Screensport channel.
*Irish TV began showing matches
from 26/Oct/1985 (with their own commentator).
Note that 21/Apr/1986 West Ham 8 Newcastle 1 was shown as a report on the BBC and Alan Parry added his commentary several years later.
23/Aug Arsenal 1 (Nicholas) Manchester United 0 *Brian Moore
23/Aug Everton 2 (Sheedy 2) Nottingham Forest 0 *Martin Tyler
30/Aug Nottingham Forest 1 (Bowyer) Watford 1 (Blissett) *Peter Brackley
30/Aug Manchester United 0 Charlton Athletic 1 (Stuart) *Martin Tyler
06/Sep West Ham United 2 (Stewart (pen), Cottee) Liverpool 5 (Whelan, Johnston, Dalgish (2), Rush) *Brian Moore
13/Sep Wimbledon 1 (Cork) Everton 2 (Sheedy, Sharp) *Martin Tyler
04/Oct Tottenham Hotspur 0 Luton Town 0 *Peter Brackley, this may have been included on "The Big Match" shown that night by LWT.
11/Oct Charlton Atheltic 3 (Melrose 3) Everton 2 (Sheedy 2) *Brian Moore
18/Oct Norwich City 1 (Drinkell) West Ham United 1 (Goddard) *Peter Brackley
01/Nov Liverpool 6 (Nichol, Walsh 3, Rush 2) Norwich City 2 (Phelan, Hodgson) *Martin Tyler
08/Nov Coventry City 1 (Pickering) Nottingham Forest 0 *Martin Tyler
15/Nov Southampton 0 Arsenal 4 (Hayes (pen), Anderson, Quinn, Groves) *Martin Tyler
22/Nov Sheffield Wednesday 1 (Megson) Luton Town 0 *John Helm
29/Nov Tottenham Hotspur 2 (C.Allen 2) Nottingham Forest 3 (Pearce (pen), Fairclough, Webb) *Peter Brackley
06/Dec Oxford United 4 (Aldridge 3, Brock) Luton Town 2 (B.Stein, M.Stein) *Brian Moore
13/Dec Norwich City 1 (Drinkell) Arsenal 1 (Hayes(pen)) *Martin Tyler
20/Dec Charlton 0 Liverpool 0 *Brian Moore
27/Dec West Ham United 2 (Cottee, Hilton) Wimbledon 3 (Fashanu, Sayer, Fairweather) *Martin Tyler
03/Jan Southampton 1 (Holmes) Manchester United 1 (Olsen) *Martin Tyler
24/Jan Manchester United 2 (Strachan, T.Gibson) Arsenal 0 *Martin Tyler
24/Jan Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Hodge 2, Claesen) Aston Villa 0 *Peter Brackley
07/Feb Leicester City 3 (Smith, Ramsey 2) Wimbledon 1 (Fairweather) *Martin Tyler
14/Feb Nottingham Forest 1 (Birtles(pen)) West Ham 1 (Stewart(pen)) *Brian Moore
14/Mar Everton 3 (Wright(og), Power, Watson) Southampton *Peter Brackley
11/Apr Everton 4 (Clarke, Reid, Srevens, Watson) West Ham United 0 *John Helm
18/Apr Tottenham Hotspur 1 (C.Allen) Charlton Atheltic 0 *Peter Brackley
25/Apr Liverpool 3 (McMahon, Rush 2) Everton 1 (Sheedy) *Martin Tyler
02/May Coventry City 1 (Pickering) Liverpool 0 *Peter Brackley
02/May Everton 0 Manchester City 0 *Martin Tyler
09/May West Ham United 2 (Brady, Cottee) Manchester City 0 *Peter Brackley
Presumably broadcast on the Screensport
29/Mar Blackburn Rovers 1 (Hendry) Charlton Athletic 0 [Full Members Cup Final] *Martin Tyler & David Pleat (with BBC graphics)
The 1987/88 editions were also available to a select band of UK viewers on satellite and cable, broadcast on Monday nights (usually) on the Screensport channel. The regular slot was 9:30-11pm with a Friday repeat. Occasionally due to live events it was Friday only. Jim Rosenthal took over as presenter and Martin Tyler was paired up with Andy Gray for the first time.
15/Aug Arsenal 1 (Davis) Liverpool 2 (Aldridge, Nicol) *Brian Moore
22/Aug Queens Park Rangers 2 (Byrne, McDonald) Arsenal 0
29/Aug Charlton Athletic 1 (Stuart) Manchester United 3 (McClair, Robson, McGrath) *Brian Moore
29/Aug Watford 1 (Porter) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Allen(pen)) *Martin Tyler
05/Sep Oxford United 2 (Slatter, Foyle) Luton Town 5 (B.Stein, Breaker, Nwajiobi, Hill, Harford) *Brian Moore
12/Sep Wimbledon 1 (Wise) West Ham 1 (Cottee) *Martin Tyler
19/Sep Derby County 2 (Gregory, Forsyth) Sheffield Wednesday 2 (Megson, Sterland) *Peter Brackley
26/Sep Manchester United 1 (McClair(pen)) Tottenham Hotspur 0 *Brian Moore
03/Oct Chelsea 2 (McCreery(og), Dixon) Newcastle United 2 (Goddard, Wharton) *Martin Tyler
10/Oct Derby County 0 Nottingham Forest 1 (Wilkinson) *Peter Brackley
07/Nov Oxford United 1 (Saunders(pen)) Coventry City 0 *Peter Brackley
21/Nov Wimbledon 2 (Fairweather, Scales) Manchester United 1 (Blackmore)
05/Dec Queens Park Rangers 0 Manchester United 2 (Davenport, Robson) *Peter Brackley
19/Dec Arsenal 1 (Rocastle) Everton 1 (Watson) *Peter Brackley
26/Dec Southampton 2 (Moore, Clarke) Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Fairclough) *Martin Tyler
02/Jan Leicester City 4 (Brien, Reid, McAllister, Wilkinson) Crystal Palace 4 (Barber, Wright 2, Pennyfather) *Brian Moore
06/Feb Luton Town 7 (Harford 2, B.Stein, McDonough, M.Stein 3) Oxford United 4 (Saunders(pen), Foyle, Hill, Phillips) *Peter Brackley
13/Feb West Ham United 1 (Cottee) Portsmouth 1 (Connor) *Martin Tyler
05/Mar Derby County 1 (Callaghan(pen)) Charlton Athletic 1 (Reid)
27/Feb Queens Park Rangers 1 (Byrne) Wimbledon 0 *Brian Moore
26/Mar Newcastle United 2 (O'Neill 2) Coventry City 2 (Smith, Speedie) *Martin Tyler
02/Apr Chelsea 1 (Hazard) Arsenal 1 (McLoughlin(og)) *Martin Tyler +Simod Cup Final & Forest v Derby (midweek)
*Clips from some of the above games may have been shown on Saint & Greavsie.
Live football on ITV
1988/89 | 1989/90 | 1990/91 | 1991/92
For seasons 1988/89 through to the end of 1991/92 the 'World Wide Soccer' company produced the English Soccer series which replaced Big League Soccer for export. This would feature at least one match a week plus all of the goals scored in the top flight. The vast majority of Saturday games were commentated on by Martin Tyler (in some territories they were broadcast live). Brian Moore was also a regular voice between 1988-90 and occasionally later when Tyler had BSB/Sky commitments. Alan Parry, John Helm, Gerry Harrison and Sky presenter Paul Dempsey also provided the odd commentary throughout. The programmes used the same graphics as seen on ITV's First Division goals round-ups and were the basis for the Official Football League videos that began to appear in the early 1990's (which do feature a lot of dubbed commentaries from Martin Tyler, Alan Parry, Clive Tyldesley, Richard Keys and even Jim Rosenthal and Gerald Sinstadt, sometimes in favour of on-site commentaries by Gerry Harrison, John Helm and Roger Tames for Anglia, YTV and Tyne Tees).
*'World Wide Soccer' was a company
formed by Chrysalis TV, ITV, CBS Fox and CSI.
For season 1992/93 the breakaway Premier League TV rights were snapped up by SKY (live matches) and the BBC (Saturday night highlights). ITV were left with Divisions 2, 3 & 4 (now to be confusingly re-numbered as Divisions 1, 2 & 3). In August 1992, live broadcasts of regional matches from the 2nd tier were introduced to Sunday afternoon ITV schedules, although some region's football fans were better served than others - those who had fewer local clubs representing them at 2nd tier level often had to make do with a film instead. The Premiership clubs were soon reaping the financial rewards of their exclusive deals with SKY and now able to satisfy requirements to build all-seater stadium's in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster. The new seats apparently justified increased ticket prices at a rate way above inflation which in turn began to attract a new class of supporter whilst pricing out many fans who had loyally followed their clubs through football's most troubled decade in the 1980's.
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