Meet Mark, Sky Sports Producer
‘Millions of people are passionate about football. But how many can turn that passion into a career? Mark’s done just – he’s a Producer for Sky Sports’
Mark has a job that many football fanatics can only dream of. So how did he get to where he is now?
“I only joined Sky supposedly for a week back in December 1991 – somehow I’m still here!” he says. “I began in a department called ‘Tape Despatch’, which sounds more glamorous than it actually was. Basically, I spent eight hours a day erasing video cassettes.”
Six months later, Sky Sports helped launch the Premier League and Mark helped launch our new Football Library. At that stage this consisted of a wardrobe with four shelves and Mark was guardian of the key.
In January 1994, Mark joined Sky Sports as a Production Junior and that’s when things really took off for him. “Over the next few years I worked on many different strands of live football, performing various roles,” he explains. “I was on the gantry counting corner kicks at Anfield when Blackburn won the title in 1995, and the following year I was in the VT truck, again at Anfield, for the famous 4-3 against Newcastle which still remains my favourite Premier League game.
“I was also part of the team out in Rome in 1997 when England drew with Italy and qualified for the 1998 World Cup Finals. Just one of several memorable foreign trips.”
In 2001, Mark began producing Sky Sports’ Bundesliga and La Liga coverage. Since then, his involvement has been widespread, covering both the Premier League and, for the last couple of seasons, the Champions League.
Last year, Sky Sports showed over 10,000 hours of football, an increase of more than 29% over the previous year, helped by the launch of Sky Sports 5. Our viewers can now look forward to 57 more Barclays Premier League live matches before the end of this season, making Sky Sports the home to over three quarters of all live televised fixtures for the remainder of the season.
So how does Mark play a part in all this?
“A non-programme office day sees me planning for programmes – which, in reality, means sitting at my desk talking about football and joking with my colleagues. It’s a little like being in a pub but with a tea in my hand rather than a beer! A programme day is always busy, one quick decision after another. Ironically, the quietest part is usually the match itself.”
Mark has many memories to cherish from his 23 years at Sky Sports but one stands above all other. “I spent an hour chatting with George Best after his Goals On Sunday appearance, which I produced in January 2005 – what a legend! I can definitely say, if you love football it’s the best job in the world.”