Inclusive family: BBC Sport operations executive for sound and comms Lucy Moss talks confidence and assertiveness

At the World Cup Final 2006, BBC Sport’s Lucy Moss

Lucy Moss, BBC Sport operations executive – sound and comms lead, has spent her whole career at the BBC, specialising in sports broadcasting sound. Now she holds the top job in audio at BBC Sport. We spoke to her about the challenges of the role and how she achieved her success.

How did you first find out about TV broadcasting as a career? What was your inspiration or idea, and why sports broadcasting?

When I was younger I enjoyed watching television and always had family time watching big sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup competitions. Premier League football was new and Blackburn Rovers were a high profile team at the time.

When we were writing in our school leavers books, I often wrote, “see you down at Ewood Park when I’m working on Match of The Day!”. The first time I worked on a match at my home team stadium it was amazing; I did see some old school friends in the crowd but I was too high up in the TV gantry to speak to them!

What has been your career path within TV?

I studied a BTEC National Diploma in Media Studies, followed by a Post A-Level Foundation course for one year before I accepted a place at Liverpool John Moores University. During my first semester at university I applied for a trainee scheme with the BBC as a technical assistant for BBC Resources Outside Broadcasts, which was a two year contract so I left university when I was offered a position with an option to return to university. From the first week I was out on location working on live television programmes, it was a dream come true.

After the two years, a sound assistant job came up towards the end of the scheme so I never returned to university.

“In my current role in BBC Sport, there are occasions where I am the only female in a meeting of 15 people which can be tough. I have worked on my confidence and assertiveness to ensure I am heard and can express myself clearly when required. I no longer feel the need to prove my knowledge as my job title speaks for itself”

Working in outside broadcasts I’ve been lucky enough to work across lots of events such as Trooping the Colour, Royal Variety performance, Royal Wedding, Digging for Dinosaurs as well as sporting events as both sound assistant and deputy sound supervisor (called audio guarantee outside of the BBC), on Formula One, MotoGP, snooker, golf, football, show jumping, rugby, bowls, Commonwealth Games, athletics, table tennis, Wimbledon, basketball, swimming… I also worked on the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 when Usain Bolt broke several World Records; history made in front of me.

When MediaCity was opening I left outside broadcasts to take a studio sound supervisor role. It was quite an adjustment going to the same workplace every day and seeing the opposite end of what I’d previously worked on.

BBC Sport’s Lucy Moss working on a scanner with a pin matrix

How did you get your current job role?

BBC Sport advertised for a second sound and comms lead in a succession role. I applied and was successful. This is the top sound job in BBC Sport and I wanted to get more involved with major events and leadership.

What was hard about getting the job, learning the role, and keeping it?

Having the confidence to apply, knowing and believing in myself that I was capable of taking on a role at such a high level. All of the meetings I attend can be hard to concentrate on, and I miss making programmes every day. But making decisions for the good of the team and getting to use my skills and experience of broadcasts systems and programmes to design major event workflows and configure systems alongside independent engineering teams is brilliant.

Lucy Moss mixing BBC Sport’s Final Score programme

What challenges have you faced over the course of your career and how did you get you get past those challenges?

There were times on outside broadcasts where suppliers would talk to my male colleagues rather than me. My colleagues were great and always made a point to ask my opinion before answering.

At BBC Resources Outside Broadcasts it is a big family and very inclusive for everyone. In my current role in BBC Sport, there are occasions where I am the only female in a meeting of 15 people which can be tough. I have worked on my confidence and assertiveness to ensure I am heard and can express myself clearly when required. I no longer feel the need to prove my knowledge as my job title speaks for itself. I wouldn’t have this role if I didn’t have the right skills and experience (something I tell myself frequently).

What do you think has been a particularly exciting or cutting edge thing in sports broadcasting that you think the BBC has done?

When the BBC started offering alternate audio options on live sports, for example watching Rugby with Welsh language service or the fans commentary. On football they have had Hacker the Dog commentate to make it interesting to younger audiences.

The ability to watch an uninterrupted stream of a sport on iPlayer or the website from the start to end time, for example winter sports where you can choose to watch all participants rather than just the top seeds that could be put into a network programme, is great.

Or during the Commonwealth games when every session of every sport was available. The audiences have such a wealth of choice that has definitely improved the enjoyment of your preferred live sport.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve worked on in the course of your career?

No two days are the same, and I’m constantly learning new things. The excitement of the sport and watching history being made live is fantastic.

The highlight was working on the Football World Cup in 2006 travelling around Germany and being in the stadium for the final when Italy won was the happiest day of my working life. I love football and this is the biggest event. During my time out there, I got a front row seat to watch Brazil displaying their fancy footwork; their fans are loud!

What advice would you give to other women looking to move into a role in sports broadcasting like your own?

Don’t let anyone tell you “you can’t”. Whenever I’ve been told that it has spurred me on to prove I can do it.

You can achieve great things if you believe in yourself.

If you love what you’re doing, you’re in the right job.

Subscribe and Get SVG Europe Newsletters