Moving some of BBC One’s programmes in advance to BBC Two for Wimbledon was meant to solve schedule issues caused by live tennis. But it all went wrong.
For the duration of week one, plus Monday 4th July, the BBC has moved The One Show and EastEnders across to BBC Two, to allow BBC One to show live tennis between 7pm and 8:30pm each night.
At 8:30pm, coverage is meant to switch to BBC Two, with a live highlights programme.
But as Andy Murray’s match against James Duckworth dragged on beyond 8:30pm on Monday night, schedules were torn up.
It led to episode 5 of Sherwood moving over to BBC Two. But online schedules and Electronic Programme Guides were late to reflect the changes. When updated, these showed incorrect times for a while, leading to confused fans of the drama starring David Morrisey and Lesley Manville. Many also reported scheduled recordings failing.
Thanks to Murray’s longer than expected game, Wimbledon stayed on BBC One until 10pm, while BBC Two was left running half an hour late. This meant Cricket highlights were delayed until 11:45pm.
And on Tuesday, Wimbledon coverage overran yet again, leading to Panorama decamping to BBC Two at 8:30pm.
Best laid plans…
In previous years, the BBC Wimbledon schedule included a handover from BBC One to BBC Two in the minutes leading up to the 6 o’clock news. But when British players have been on court, schedules have gone to pot. The One Show and other BBC One evening shows have usually swapped at short notice to BBC Two.
Regional news has ended up pushed later in to the evening on BBC One, as the English regions and BBC Scotland can’t opt in to BBC Two.
This year’s solution was to pre-empt possible issues by moving BBC One programmes to BBC Two in advance, but only up to 8:30pm.
Schedules from Tuesday 5th July indicate BBC bosses don’t think there’s much chance for disruption by British players on court: for the last few days of Wimbledon, coverage goes back to the original way of scheduling: BBC One will show Wimbledon until 6pm, with BBC Two screening unbroken coverage until the end of the day’s play. The One Show and EastEnders switch back to their usual timeslots on BBC One.
Time will tell if that was the right decision.
Updated 29/06/2022 10:38