Football League remains upbeat over new BBC deal despite highlight show axe
The Football League remains hopeful it can secure a deal with the BBC to show match highlights despite the decision to scale back its coverage during the festive holiday period.
Fans were dismayed when the BBC failed to show a highlights package of the Boxing Day games and were brought further bad news when the broadcaster announced it would not be airing a show on New Year”s Eve, either.
The next scheduled programme will not air until January 14, despite a full set of bank Holiday fixtures on Monday ahead of the break for the third round of the FA Cup.
Off-air: The BBC pulled the plug on the Football League show this Christmas
Many fans believe this is just the start of the corporations exit from showing live and highlights of football in the three divisions below the Premier League.
Football League Show presenter Manish Bhasin told viewers via Twitter: “I understand your frustration.”
The BBC revealed it has made the decision as its deal only covers Saturdays and so the games were “outside our contractual obligations”.
The corporation has made no secret of its need to cut back its coverage of sport because of budget cuts and BBC Head of Sport Barbara Slater admitted that football may soon be completely out of their price range.
Under-fire: The BBC”s commitment to football is under huge budgetary pressures
She said: “The truth is that some live football rights have got out of reach in terms of their value.”
The BBC has 10 live matches of its own under the current arrangement and their Premier League highlights deal expires in 2013. The Premier League will put the rights out to tender in the new year.