MHP The Ident Zone SPORT 1997 logo


Prior to 1988, BBC TV Sport programmes had no official "branding". Major sporting events might be preceded by a caption reading "BBC TELEVISION PRESENTS", but an ident had yet to be born.

This page lists every BBC SPORT ident from 1988 to the present day. While the basic "globe and rings" idea has stayed the same, advances in computer technology has meant that after a couple of years, an ident begins to look a little dated, and it is time to introduce a new one.

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BBC SPORT 1988 The Seoul Olympics in 1988 saw the first appearance of the BBC SPORT ident. A rotating globe span from behind the viewer on the right, until it rested stationary in mid-frame. The BBC SPORT logo then zoomed/dissolved into position, leaving the static image on the left. Static, that is, apart from the 1" dropout and creases on the tape because it was played so much! There were three versions of the accompanying jingle in different keys (C Major, D Major and B Flat Major), so that the one which was the closest match to the titles it preceded could be used.
In 1989, the ident underwent a visual change. The final image was almost identical (with just a small shift in the rotational position of the globe) - so why change it? Well, someone had noticed that the globe was spinning the wrong way around! In June 1989 this was put right (apparently at great expense), but it never quite worked as well as the original. The three versions of the jingle remained the same. BBC SPORT 1989
BBC SPORT 1992 Full Colour In 1992, around the time of the Barcelona Olympics, a new set of idents was introduced. To overcome the "doesn't work quite as well" factor of the 1989 version, the globe now came from behind the viewer on the left of screen. It also continued to animate after the jingle had finished.

There was a "full colour" version (illustrated left), but also a "gold" version, a "green" version, a "blue" version, and a "red" version. There was a new arrangement of the jingle, and for the first time it was in stereo. However, the different "keys" were dropped in favour of a single C Major version.
The choice of ident used prior to a programme depended on its content. For example, equestrian events were usually preceded by the green ident, and programmes such as swimming were preceded by the blue ident. The gold ident was used for Olympics coverage.
BBC SPORT 1992 Gold BBC SPORT 1992 Green
BBC SPORT 1992 Blue BBC SPORT 1992 Red
BBC SPORT 1996 After four years, it was time for another change. Subtlety went out of the window, and a "Fisher Price" chunky graphic was introduced in time for Euro 96. The jingle was re-arranged again, and in three different keys - B Flat Major, D major and B Major. The version shown on the left was used for most programmes…
…and this rather garish "gold" version was for the Atlanta Olympics. It looked even worse once it had been converted from PAL to NTSC and then back to PAL again. This version used the D Major jingle. BBC SPORT 1996 Olympics
In 1997, the new BBC logo almost saw the demise of a BBC SPORT ident altogether. But a last minute reprieve meant a nightmare for BBC Graphic Design. They had a very short space of time to create a new logo. And they did a very nice job.

For the first time, the globe and logo do not end up on screen together. In Version 1 of the ident (used before the programme), the globe crosses from right to left, getting closer. Once it has cleared frame, the BBC SPORT logo appears. Version 2 (used at the end of a programme) is the reverse - the globe crosses from left to right, getting farther away, and when it is almost out of frame, the logo appears. Once again, the original jingle has been re-arranged, but there is now just a single version - C Major.

BBC SPORT 1997 a BBC SPORT 1997 b


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The Ident Zone
Last Update 06 Apr 2000