BBC Launches Hybrid App for Sports Coverage

The BBC has launched an iOS app specifically for its sports coverage, with an Android version apparently set to follow in the next few weeks. Both are hybrid apps, pulling text content from the mobile site, and combining that with native functionality for more complex features.

At present, the BBC Sports app includes news articles, live text commentaries, football scores and fixtures, and audio streams of 5 Lives sports coverage, all of which can be navigated through customisable quicklinks for the users chosen sports. 

The app is very much a work-in-progress, with a long list of features due to be added in the next couple of months, according to the BBC. Live and on-demand video content will be added, and the customisable navigation will include individual football teams. After the launch of the Android app, the BBC will roll out a version optimised for devices with larger screens – apparently a learning point from the reception of the BBCs Olympics app last summer. 

“We are developing the app for Apple and Android devices which currently account for approximately 75 per cent of the UK smartphone market,” said Lucie McLean, executive product manager for BBC Sports mobile services. “We havent ruled out developing the app for other platforms but building apps is expensive and as a publicly-funded organisation we have to prioritise the areas where we can reach the most users at the lowest costs.”

Currently, a third of traffic to the BBCs sports site comes from mobile, rising to 40 per cent at the weekend during live sport events.