Match of the Day and ITV studio design


In 2010 I enjoyed posting on the BBC’s studio for the FIFA World Cup in Cape Town.

That space was not without controversy, for various reasons, and neither was the BBC’s move to Salford last year. The Media City complex received a carbuncle award from Urban Realm, not necessarily for its poor aesthetics but more for its lack of ambition.

Last summer, flagship Saturday night football programme Match of the Day moved to a new studio, which has been used throughout the 2011-12 season.

via MOTD facebook page

The lighting and visual feel of the studio and graphics have a neon nightclubby feel to them and are a bit ‘in-your-face’. I like the angular feel and the chairs for Lineker and the pundits. It looks like the Kruze Chair by Boss Design.

The studio is flexible, apparently, as series producer Ian Finch told the BBC’s Ariel blog:

MOTD shares the same studio space as Football Focus, which relaunched at the new BBC North headquarters in August, and the set has already picked up an RTS nomination for production design.

‘It’s been designed so it can break down easily, be shipped out, brought back in and put back together really quickly,’ explains Finch. ‘That keeps the costs down because we only have to pay for the studio for two days as opposed to a whole week as we did in London.’

The salaries of the top presenter talent are always an issue, as is the cost of the entire move to Salford, but it seems that here, the cost of the studio itself has not struck any nerves. The cost of the BBC studio set up in Cape Town in 2010 was also controversial, as recession began to bite the viewers. Now for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, the BBC is presenting its coverage from the UK, with reporters based in some of the key cities and venues.

This is a departure from previous tournaments, probably as a cost-saving measure, but also likely influenced by the strength of public opinion about already highly-paid presenters swanning off abroad. Poland and Ukraine maybe don’t hold the same appeal as South Africa?

For Euro 2008, the BBC studio was a glass box overlooking the rooftops of Vienna – this blog piece provides an amusing rant about the over-engineered futuristic table.

ITV have not spared any expense – they have a specially constructed studio on location in Warsaw, Poland. The design is pretty strange though, with a circular glass centre piece filled with red aggregate and uplights. The presenter and pundits are on a raised wooden plinth with another of those chrome and glass coffee table. The chairs are also not my cup of tea- they have a Homebase/B&Q feel to them, and I’m not a fan of the gold crocodile upholstery.

This studio looks like it has been designed with an inside-outside theme, upmarket decking and a European al fresco terrace. Designers- what do you think?


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