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    BBC pay £204m to keep Match of the Day as ITV decline to bid

    This is a discussion on BBC pay £204m to keep Match of the Day as ITV decline to bid within the Sky Sports forums, part of the Sky TV Channels category; BBC pay £204m to keep Match of the Day as ITV decline to bid | Football | The Guardian BBC ...

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      BBC pay £204m to keep Match of the Day as ITV decline to bid

      BBC pay £204m to keep Match of the Day as ITV decline to bid | Football | The Guardian
      BBC pay £204m to keep Match of the Day as ITV decline to bid

      • Three-year deal to keep Saturday night highlights on station
      • Premier League set for multi-billion pound auction of live rights
      • How does your team fare on MOTD’s running order?

      The familiar theme tune to Match of the Day will remain a fixture on the BBC until at least the end of the decade, after the corporation paid £204m to renew the rights for three more years.

      Under the new deal, which runs from 2016-17 until 2018-19 and represents a modest increase on the current contract, it will also air a new magazine programme on BBC2 at 10pm in midweek.

      ITV had seriously considered mounting a challenge for the rights, which it last held between 2001 and 2004. But insiders said it had ultimately decided against bidding.

      “The BBC has done a fantastic job with its Match of the Day programmes which provide high quality coverage and analysis for fans of Premier League clubs,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. “The UK highlights allow the competition to be viewed by the maximum number of fans across the country and the addition of a mid-week magazine show will add a new dimension to the BBC’s Premier League coverage.”

      The BBC paid £60m a year to retain the rights to Match of the Day, celebrating its 50th anniversary this season, under the current deal and has seen the Saturday evening institution go from strength to strength. In an age when many industry pundits expected the audiences for highlights to suffer due to the amount of live football on offer, they had proved resilient and spin offs such as Match of the Day 2 and CBBC show Kickabout have also proved popular.

      “Viewing patterns change, the media industry as a whole is changing incredibly quickly. But that regular point where people can watch in 80 minutes on a Saturday or Sunday the key moments of the games, it’s a pretty good digest. It’s a great package,” said the BBC head of TV sport Philip Bernie last year.

      The punditry team has been shaken up this season following the retirement of sofa stalwart Alan Hansen following the World Cup.

      The rights to top-flight football highlights have switched between the BBC and ITV since Match of the Day made its debut in 1964, ushering in a new age of regular televised football.

      But during the Premier League era, the BBC has held the upper hand apart from a three-year period from 2001 when ITV paid £183m to grab the rights and poached Des Lynam in a high profile move.

      The Premiership, boldly scheduled in a 7pm early evening slot, failed to meet the high ratings expectations and was criticised for frequent advertising breaks and a lack of match action. After a few months, it was moved back to the more traditional Saturday evening slot.

      Last week, ITV’s lead football anchor Adrian Chiles suddenly left the broadcaster in mysterious circumstances and was replaced by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Mark Pougatch.

      Andy Townsend and Matt Smith will also leave at the end of this season. But the merry-go-round in on air talent is not believed to be linked to the tender process.

      The BBC is understood to be in talks with Match of Day anchor Gary Lineker about a new deal that would also allow him to front BT Sport’s live Champions League coverage.

      BT Sport will screen live Champions League football from next season after paying £897m over three years to wrestle the rights from Sky Sports and ITV.

      ITV’s football rights include home England internationals and qualifiers but it has also lost the rights to the FA Cup in the past 12 months, now shared between the BBC and BT Sport.The BBC’s sports portfolio is expected to come under increased pressure in the coming months, with the Royal & Ancient considering an offer from Sky to air The Open golf championship exclusively via the pay TV broadcaster. An announcement is expected imminently.

      With pressure on budgets due ahead of licence fee negotiations, the BBC’s exclusive Six Nations rights are also expected to come under pressure. As such, renewing its Match of the Day deal is likely to be seen as a strategic bulwark against future rights losses.

      Bids for the live rights, which raised £3bn under the current deal, are due in by 6 February but it could take several days for a result to be announced, depending on how many rounds of bidding there are.

      Under the current deal, Sky Sports airs 116 live matches a season and BT Sport 38 games. From 2016-17, there will be 14 more matches per season on offer including up to 10 scheduled on a Friday night.

      BBC director general Tony Hall said: “Sport matters. It brings the nation together. It can break hearts and raise spirits. And because it matters to the public, it also matters to the BBC. That’s why it’s fantastic news that we have kept the Premier League highlights.

      “It’s the best and most exciting league in the world. The BBC has made the highlights programme, through Match of the Day, a national treasure, and fans can look forward to enjoying all the drama with us for another three years.”


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      Re: BBC pay £204m to keep Match of the Day as ITV decline to bid

      If it keeps it away from ITV then money well spent, perhaps the penny has finally dropped with ITV seeing as they never put a bid in this time....

     

     

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