Sports broadcasting is a huge part of the radio landscape in the UK and worldwide.
From local stations sharing insights from regional games to major productions commenting on national championships, there’s something for everyone on the airwaves.
While listening to a sports game might seem like an unusual habit in a world of live-streamed video content, sports radio remains one of the best ways for fans to stay updated with every kick, pitch, and putt.
Accessible anywhere in the country, sports radio generates millions of listeners every year. National stations like BBC Radio 5 attract about five million people per week!
You’re in the right place if you’re looking for a new local station you can rely on to share the latest sports highlights, or you’re visiting the UK and want to embed yourself into the culture.
Here’s our guide to some of the top sports radio stations in the United Kingdom.
The 8 Best UK Sports Radio Stations
Like UK radio stations broadcasting music, sports stations come in various shapes and sizes.
Some specialize in sports betting programs, while others host entire shows about sports strategy, fantasy leagues, and sports news.
The best station for you depends on what kind of sports-related content you want to listen to.
However, to give you the best start, we’ve scoured the airwaves to track down some of the most popular and well-renowned stations available on DAB, FM, AM, and digital channels.
Let’s dive in.
Probably the most talked-about radio station in the sporting world, TalkSport is the sister station of TalkRadio, which spun off from the main broadcast in 2000.
Broadcasting on AM and digital channels, TalkSport’s programming includes live coverage of major sporting events, interviews with the leading names in the industry, phone-ins, and discussions.
TalkSport has it all for football fans, including live commentary of every Premier League match worldwide broadcast in multiple languages.
The station attracts around 3.2 million listeners weekly and is home to well-known presenters.
TalkSport has also seen its fair share of controversy, with various presenters fired for their actions over the years.
Despite that, TalkSport has become a major radio station in the UK, particularly for those interested in football, boxing, and other popular UK sports.
Frequency: AM:1053 kHz (London)
2. TalkSport 2
The popularity of TalkSport in the UK landscape helped pave the way for introducing a sister station in 2016.
The new station, which airs on digital and DAB channels online, covers many of the same programs as TalkSport and a variety of more unique broadcasts.
The 24-hour sports station delivers shows focusing on live sporting action from not just the UK but around the world too. Listeners can tune into live commentary on golf, tennis, cricket, rugby, and horse racing games.
The station even has specialist programming dedicated to football, the NBA, and various US sports championships.
Although TalkSport 2 isn’t quite as popular as its big sister station, it still captures the attention of nearly half a million listeners every week.
Frequency: DAB and digital-only
Website: TalkSport 2
3. BBC Radio 5 Live
Owned and operated by the giants at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), BBC Radio 5 Live is a news and sports station.
It mainly broadcasts sports discussions, interviews, news updates, and phone-in segments. The station launched in 1994, following a repositioning of Radio 5.
As of 2023, BBC Radio 5 Live is one of the most popular sporting stations in the UK, with a weekly audience of around 5.1 million listeners.
Programs include Fighting Talk with Colin Murray, Sports Report with Mark Chapman, and live sports commentaries with different presenters throughout the week.
Here, listeners can expect to hear everything from Live Premier League and FA Cup commentary, EFL and FIFA World Cup programs, and content from the UEFA, rugby, Super Bowl, and Olympic games.
It doesn’t get much better for variety than BBC Radio 5 Live.
Frequency: AM: 693 kHz, 909 kHz, and 990 kHz
Website: BBC Radio 5 Live
4. BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra
Sister station to the much larger BBC Radio 5 Live broadcast, BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra is a digital-only channel operated by the BBC.
It specializes in broadcasting extended live sports coverage and shares the same facilities, presenters, and managers as its sibling.
Although much of the same programming from the larger channel can also be heard on the Extra station, there are some unique segments worth exploring.
5 Sports Extra broadcasts commentary for various sports and competitions, including the Tennis Grand Slam, National Hockey League, and Formula One motor racing.
Interestingly, the station operates on a part-time basis only, broadcasting exclusively during live sports events.
In some cases, when a major news story breaks on BBC Radio 5 Live, the entire sports programming from that channel will be redirected to Extra.
Frequency: DAB: 12B
Website BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra
5. BBC Radio London
Another popular option from the BBC, this station doesn’t focus entirely on sports broadcasting. Instead, it offers a variety of programming options to choose from.
The local station airs its content across the London area on the 94.9 FM frequency and streams content online.
As of 2022, BBC Radio London boasted a listener number of around 625,000 people – impressive for a local station.
As well as sports broadcasts, listeners can expect to hear everything from like talk shows to musical playlists and news updates.
BBC Radio London is now the only local station owned by the BBC to air its local programming 24 hours a day.
It also doesn’t simulcast any regional programs from sister stations, so you can expect everything you hear on the channel to be unique.
Frequency: FM: 94.9 MHz
Website: BBC Radio London
6. BBC Radio Scotland
Like BBC Radio London, BBC Radio Scotland is a diverse network known for sharing various types of content throughout the Scottish region.
Every week, the station attracts an audience of around 850,000 people, making it one of the most popular channels in Scotland.
BBC Radio Scotland broadcasts a collection of different shows, including musical playlists, talk shows, and news reports.
A dedicated team of presenters is also committed to sharing sporting highlights and commentary. Popular hosts have included names like John Beattie, Stuart Cosgrove, Tam Cowan, and Richard Gordon.
If you’re looking for a variety of different shows to listen to throughout the day, BBC Radio Scotland is great for interspersing sports programming with comedy, drama, music, debate, and news.
Frequency: FM: 92.5 MHz and 94.7 MHz
Website: Radio Scotland
7. BBC Radio Wales
Like BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Wales is a regional radio station for the Welsh landscape.
It has a weekly audience of around 329,000 people throughout the region, giving it a listening share of about 5.6 percent of the market.
The channel broadcasts weekly from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends, live from the BBC Cymru headquarters. Weekday programming includes Breakfast and everyday drive shows with popular presenters.
However, listeners can tune into Radio Wales Sport on Sundays between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. for football and rugby highlights.
The specialist program features localized commentary of Cardiff City, Swansea City, and Wrexham matches for local sports fans.
Frequency: FM: 90.2-92.3 MHz, 93.9-96.1 MHz, and 103.9 MHz
Website: BBC Radio Wales
8. BBC Radio Ulster
Ideal for Irish listeners, BBC Radio Ulster is the Northern Irish radio station hosted by the BBC for local listeners.
The station broadcasts to around 456,000 people per week, which may seem small. Still, it accounts for around 18.1 percent of the total listenership in Ireland.
BBC Radio Ulster hosts a variety of great programs, covering news, talk sessions, featured shows, and sports.
Programs range from Talkback to Across the Line and the Sunday Sequence.
Additionally, the station has hosted several well-known presenters throughout the years, including Stephen Nolan, Joel Taggart, and Sarah Brett.
Alongside sports and talk segments, you can expect to hear regular news updates from this channel, focused on Irish listeners, as well as some fantastic playlists from a multitude of musical genres.
Frequency: FM: 92–95 MHz
Digital: Radio Ulster
The Top Sports Radio Stations in the UK
Hopefully, this list has given you insight into some of the best sports radio stations you can listen to from regions around the United Kingdom.
While only a handful of stations throughout the UK focus heavily on sports broadcasting, you can also find plenty of local and varied channels throughout the country that provide sports-based news and updates.
Plus, if you’re desperate to listen to more sporting highlights, plenty of online channels are worth exploring.