Sports broadcasting is a big part of the radio landscape in the UK and around the world.
From local stations providing insight into regional matches to large productions commentating on national championships, there is something for everyone on the airwaves.
While listening to a sports game might seem like an unusual habit in a world of live streaming video content, sports radio remains one of the best ways for fans to keep up with every kick, pitch and putt.
Sports radio is accessible across the country and generates millions of listeners each year. National broadcasters like BBC Radio 5 attract around five million people a week!
You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a new local broadcaster you can rely on to share the latest sporting highlights or if you’re visiting the UK and want to immerse yourself in the culture.
Here’s our guide to some of the best sports radio stations in the UK.
The 8 best UK sports radio stations
Like UK radio stations that broadcast music, sports stations come in all shapes and sizes.
Some specialize in sports betting programs, while others host entire shows on sports strategy, fantasy leagues, and sports news.
Which station is best for you depends on what type of sports content you want to listen to.
However, to give you the best start we’ve scoured the airwaves for some of the most popular and well known stations available on DAB, FM, AM and digital channels.
let’s dive in
Probably the most talked about radio station in the world of sports, TalkSport is the sister station to TalkRadio, which evolved from the main show in 2000.
TalkSport’s programming airs on AM and digital channels and includes live coverage of major sporting events, interviews with the industry’s leading names, phone calls and panel discussions.
TalkSport has everything football fans need, including live commentary on every Premier League match around the world, broadcast in multiple languages.
The station attracts around 3.2 million listeners every week and hosts well-known moderators.
TalkSport has also had its fair share of controversy, with several presenters fired for their actions over the years.
Despite this, TalkSport has become a major radio station in the UK, particularly for those interested in football, boxing and other popular British sports.
Frequency: AM:1053kHz (London)
2. TalkSport 2
TalkSport’s popularity in the UK landscape paved the way for the launch of a sister station in 2016.
The new station, which will air online on digital and DAB channels, will cover many of the same programs as TalkSport and a variety of more unique shows.
The 24-hour sports channel delivers programs focused on live sports action not just from the UK but from around the world. Listeners can enjoy live commentary on golf, tennis, cricket, rugby and horse racing matches.
The channel even has special programs dedicated to soccer, the NBA and various US sports championships.
While TalkSport 2 isn’t quite as popular as its big sister station, it still grabs the attention of nearly half a million listeners every week.
Frequency: DAB and digital only
3.BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 Live is a news and sports channel owned and operated by the giants British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
It primarily broadcasts sports discussions, interviews, news updates, and phone-in segments. The station started in 1994 after a repositioning of Radio 5.
As of 2023, BBC Radio 5 Live is one of the most popular sports channels in the United Kingdom, with a weekly audience of around 5.1 million listeners.
The programs include battle talk with Colin Murray, sports report with Mark Chapman and live sports commentary with various presenters throughout the week.
Here listeners can expect everything from live commentary on the Premier League and FA Cup, EFL and FIFA World Cup programming to content from UEFA, Rugby, Super Bowl and Olympic Games.
For more variety, there’s little better than BBC Radio 5 Live.
Frequency: AM: 693kHz, 909kHz and 990kHz
Website: BBC Radio 5 Live
4. BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra
The sister station to the much larger BBC Radio 5 Live broadcast, BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra is a digital-only BBC broadcaster.
It specializes in broadcasting extended live sports coverage and shares the same facilities, presenters and managers as its sister company.
Although many of the same programs from the larger station can also be heard on the Extra station, there are some unique segments worth exploring.
5 Sports Extra broadcasts commentary on various sports and competitions including the Tennis Grand Slam, the National Hockey League and Formula 1 motorsport.
Interestingly, the channel only works on a part-time basis and only broadcasts live sporting events.
In some cases, when an important news item is published on BBC Radio 5 Live, all of that channel’s sports programming is channeled to Extra.
Frequency: DAB: 12B
BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra website
5. BBC Radio London
Another popular option from the BBC, this channel doesn’t focus exclusively on sports broadcasts. Instead, it offers a variety of programming options to choose from.
The local station broadcasts its content across the London area on the 94.9 FM frequency and streams content online.
In 2022, BBC Radio London recorded a listenership of around 625,000 people – impressive for a local station.
In addition to sports broadcasts, listeners can also expect everything from talk shows to music playlists and news updates.
BBC Radio London is now the BBC’s only local station broadcasting its local programming 24 hours a day.
It also doesn’t simulcast regional programming from sister stations, so you can rest assured that whatever you hear on the channel is unique.
Frequency: FM: 94.9MHz
Website: BBC Radio London
6. BBC Radio Scotland
Like BBC Radio London, BBC Radio Scotland is a diverse network known for broadcasting different types of content across the Scottish region.
The channel attracts around 850,000 viewers each week, making it one of Scotland’s most popular channels.
BBC Radio Scotland broadcasts a collection of different programs including music playlists, talk shows and news reports.
A dedicated team of moderators also takes care of passing on sporting highlights and comments. Popular hosts included the likes of John Beattie, Stuart Cosgrove, Tam Cowan and Richard Gordon.
If you’re looking for a variety of programs to listen to throughout the day, BBC Radio Scotland is a great way to combine sports programming with comedy, drama, music, debate and news.
Frequency: FM: 92.5MHz and 94.7MHz
Website: Radio Scotland
7. BBC Radio Wales
Like BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Wales is a regional radio station covering the Welsh countryside.
The weekly audience is around 329,000 people across the region, accounting for around 5.6 percent of the market share.
The channel broadcasts live from BBC Cymru headquarters from 5:30am to 12:30pm weekly and 5am to 1am on weekends. Weekday programming includes breakfast and everyday driving shows with popular hosts.
However, listeners can tune in Radio Wales Sport Sundays between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. for football and rugby highlights.
The specialist programming provides localized commentary on Cardiff City, Swansea City and Wrexham games for local sports fans.
Frequency: FM: 90.2-92.3MHz, 93.9-96.1MHz and 103.9MHz
Website: BBC Radio Wales
8. BBC Radio Ulster
BBC Radio Ulster is ideal for Irish listeners and the BBC’s Northern Ireland radio station for local listeners.
The station broadcasts to around 456,000 people weekly, which may seem small. Still, it accounts for around 18.1 per cent of the total listenership in Ireland.
BBC Radio Ulster offers a variety of great programming including news, talk shows, specials and sport.
The programs range from talkback To over the line and the Sunday sequence.
In addition, the station has hosted several well-known presenters over the years, including Stephen Nolan, Joel Taggart and Sarah Brett.
As well as sports and talk segments, you can expect regular news updates from this channel geared towards Irish listeners, as well as some fantastic playlists across a variety of music genres.
Frequency: FM: 92-95MHz
Digital: Radio Ulster
The best sports radio stations in the UK
Hopefully this list has given you a glimpse of some of the best sports radio stations to listen to from regions in the UK.
Whilst only a handful of channels across the UK have a strong focus on sports coverage, there are numerous local and varied channels across the country providing sports news and updates.
And if you’re dying to hear more sports highlights, it’s worth exploring the many online channels.