Klaus Spanke and his son Simon from Cologne always agree on at least one point: they listen to the radio on Saturdays from 2:05 p.m. Then start on WDR 2 in “Liga live“The latest reports from Bundesliga games: “All goals, all games, everything live“. The games are now also in privatetv to see. Not only father Spanke, but also 11-year-old Simon is an absolute fan of the ARD Bundesliga conference: “Because the tension is greater and you don’t immediately know who scored the goal.”

    As for the Spankes, the Bundesliga conference, the threads of which converge at the WDR in Cologne, has simply been part of it on Saturdays for decades. In particular, the fast switching relays at half-time and before the end of the game reliably deliver excitement. “It’s really great, there’s hectic in it, there’s dynamism in it. Above all: You can see with your ears,” ex-national goalkeeper Toni Schumacher enthuses over the radiooldie. The first football conference call went through the broadcaster eleven years before the Bundesliga was founded.

    Broadcasting pioneering achievement

    The idea came from the reporter of the legendary WM-“Wonders of Bern”, Herbert Zimmermann. In September 1952, the sports director of the NWDR a radio premiere that is unbelievable for football fans: “All matches of the Oberliga Nord on ultra short wave north and medium wave!”. On September 21, 1952, Zimmermann is sitting in the Hamburger NWDR-Funkhaus on the microphone and coordinates the 45-minute broadcast live-The use of six reporters who commented on the game from six seats – a pioneering achievement in terms of transmission technology with hardly imaginable effort.

    The first radio conference call was so successful that from March 1953 it was broadcast nationwide by everyonenARDstations is broadcast. Reporter veteran Kurt Brumme has also been there from the start WM-Final 1954 sitting behind Zimmermann as a substitute. The man with the sonorous voice from Cologne comments on Oberliga West games. From 1963 to 1988 Brumme moderated as head of the WDR-Radio Sports the Saturday hit “Sport and Music”. After him, the Bundesliga switches shape reporters like Heribert Fassbender, Werner Hansch, Manni Breuckmann or today Sabine Töpperwien and Sven Pistor – each in their own typical way.

    More live-Info instead of music

    In “Liga Live” technical and editorial processes have to mesh exactly. That is why the planning of the WDR 2 sports department headed by Sabine Töpperwien begins ten days before a match day. The order of handover from one reporter to another is strictly defined. Heckling is only permitted for goals, penalties and red cards. Especially for the mid-term and final conferences is accurate timing necessary because then all ARD-Institutions are interconnected to the second.

    The stress during a conference is enormous for the reporters: taking notes about the game, keeping an eye on what is happening on and off the pitch, following the current program through headphones. And always the clock in the neck. When they’re on the air, they often have to summarize the course of events in 45 seconds and present the current moves in a vivid, varied and dynamic way – even if very little is happening on the pitch.

    Since the start of the new Bundesliga season, WDR 2 has been delivering even more to its listeners live– Information from the stadiums. By shortening the music programme, the reporters can now cover drama in the penalty area, game tactics and, of course, goals for a total of 75 minutes.

    Status: 09/21/2012

    Program tips:

    On WDR 2 you can always hear the key date around 9.40 a.m. Repeat: from Monday to Friday around 5.40 p.m. and on Saturday at 6.40 p.m. The key date can be accessed as a podcast after the broadcast.

    “Zeitzeichen” on WDR 5 (9.05 a.m.) and WDR 3 (5.45 p.m.) on September 21, 2012 also commemorates the first ARD football switching conference. The “Zeitzeichen” is also available as a podcast.