BBC may lose huge sporting event with ‘incredibly difficult’ decision to be made
THE BBC are in danger of losing the rights to show the Six Nations.
The cost of broadcasting one of rugby’s biggest tournaments could price the channel out with their income falling.
Outgoing BBC director Barbara Slater said “incredibly difficult” decisions will have to be made.
The company’s revenue has dropped 30 per cent.
And the Six Nations is not on a list of protected tournaments that the BBC always want to have and it therefore could be axed.
The World Cup, Wimbledon and the Olympics make the cut.
There has been reports that a new world rugby league could be formed and TV rights could be sold with the Six Nations potentially involved in a combined deal.
If it happens then the BBC would further struggle to afford to show the sport which has been on terrestrial tele since 2003.
Their current agreement on broadcasting the Six Nations ends in 2025.
Slater said: “We need a well-funded BBC if we are going to be able to continue to afford sports rights.
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“Sports rights in the UK have more than doubled in the past decade.
“It is incredibly difficult for the BBC to maintain, across a range of sports, the expectations of those governing bodies.
“With the Six Nations, like anything, we will have to assess the affordability at the time.
“Because it is very difficult for the BBC, on that trajectory of income, to continue to afford everything that we have.
“The truth is we’re probably not going to be the highest bidder, and it will come down to individual governing bodies as to how they balance that reach and revenue.”
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