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Juliette Ferrington introduced the first programme — commentary of Manchester United against Sunderland. Despite many television rights to sporting events being heavily fought over by commercial companies, such as Sky Sports and ITV Sport , radio sports coverage for many events are still held by the BBC: the main competitor being the commercial station Talksport.
In , the station was rebranded in line with the rest of the network. The new BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra logo was turned into a circular based logo in the colour green; according to research, the green colour was chosen as people associated it with sport.
Along with the rebrand, Sports Extra began to become closer aligned with 5 Live. As a result, the online presence of the station was toned down with only an upcoming schedule remaining; all other details were merged into the 5 Live website or the new BBC Radio online homepage. The service should aim to provide increased value for licence fee payers from the portfolio of sports rights already owned by the BBC by offering alternative coverage to that provided on other UK-wide BBC services.
All output on 5 live Sports Extra should be live sports coverage. Unlike sister station 5 Live, no analogue frequency is used.
The BBC iPlayer service also re-broadcasts programmes for seven days after original broadcast. Due to rights restrictions, some programmes are only available to UK audiences or are not available on the BBC Website or iPlayer services. The station is notable in that it is a part-time service, only airing throughout sports broadcasts.
These broadcasts themselves are also live and uninterrupted, unlike Radio 5 Live which adds news bulletins and Radio 4 Longwave which adds the Shipping Forecast into coverage. When the station goes off-air, all broadcasts cease as the station does not simulcast any other broadcast; this is unusual on the BBC Radio network as nearly all radio stations now operate 24 hours a day or simulcast with another service - Radio 4 simulcasts with the BBC World Service and BBC Local Radio stations broadcast 5 Live when not on air.
A side effect of this lack of simulcast is that those attempting to tune into the station with a DAB Digital Radio will often have difficulty finding the station. Internet stream, which earlier also used to go off air, now broadcasts station promo in a loop.
Although 5 Live Sports Extra uses no studio space, the teams required to organise the match coverage are shared with 5 Live. The move to Salford took two months, and occurred alongside 5 Live, in a bid to create a northern media hub and to outsource major production from London.