The BBC being priced out of sport could be a catastrophe

By Jake Johnson

With the BBC facing ever-increasing funding cuts, it looks as if their coverage of sport is set to suffer, and with it the feel good factor that sport can offer.

The emergence of pay-per-view channels such as BT, and the previous emergence of Sky, means the BBC simply cannot compete in monetary terms.

Paul Smith, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication said: “The BBC is in a very difficult position, the cost of the rights for sports such as football and rugby have increased over the past decade.

“So they have had to make important decisions about what they can afford to televise.”

He added that factors such as free TV licence for the over 75s and austerity cuts by the Conservative government have cost the BBC hundreds of millions of pounds over the past few years.

Which means that they have lost much of the weekly sporting events to pay-per-view channels.

They have however, made a concerted effort to keep one off showpieces such as Wimbledon and the Olympics.

BBC also offers viewers access to sports that are in a minority, such as women’s football or the Davis Cup.

This has helped enabled them to appeal to a younger and more ethnically diverse viewership.

So they are helping to promote lesser-known sports and helping to give them a more universal appeal, which is essential to the survival of any sport.


Paul said: “The BBC cannot afford to lose the feel good factor that comes with sport.


“With societies media consumption becoming fragmented, having big occasion sporting events free to everyone can really add to the value of watching because the rest of the country is watching with you.”

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