FOOTBALL: BBC agrees new Football League highlights deal

BBC Sport will continue to screen highlights of the Football League after securing a new three-year deal.

The agreement will see the corporation provide extensive highlights of the npower Football League, the League Cup and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy until at least 2015.

The Football League Show will continue in its current hour-long Saturday night slot after Match of the Day on BBC One, and will feature all the goals, highlights and analysis from across all three divisions of the Football League throughout the season.

Additionally, the BBC will continue to provide midweek highlights of the League Cup, and screen dedicated highlights programmes for the finals of the League Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy from Wembley.

However, under the new deal the BBC will no longer provide separate video clips of every Football League match online – but the Football League Show will still be available to watch as ‘catch-up’ on the BBC iPlayer.

The announcement of the new highlights deal was made on air by presenter Manish Bhasin at the beginning of the Championship Play-Off final highlights programme on May 19.

BBC radio’s extensive coverage will also continue, with 5 live and 5 Live Sports Extra holding non-exclusive rights to all npower Football League, League Cup and Play-Off matches over the next three years.

The BBC won the terrestrial rights to screen Football League highlights in 2007 from ITV, and have screened highlights of all the league’s competitions since 2009.

They also screened 10 live games from the Championship per season, as well as the League Cup semi-finals and final, over the past three years, but lost these rights to Sky Sports in April 2011 after the BBC reportedly decided against bidding to retain them.

Following this loss and the recently announced 15% cuts to its sports rights budget, the future of the BBC’s Football League coverage beyond this season had been in some doubt, with several reports at Christmas suggesting that the contract would not be renewed.

Fans complained after the show was dropped from BBC One’s schedule on Boxing Day and January 2, which the BBC said was part of a ‘budget decision’, fuelling speculation that the highlights deal would not be renewed.

However BBC Sport boss Barbara Slater indicated shortly after the media storm had died down that signing a new deal for a Football League highlights package was “a top priority”.

In welcoming the new deal, Barbara Slater, BBC Director of Sport said, “Football is a core part of our sports rights portfolio and BBC Sport is delighted to be continuing our relationship with The Football League, bringing games to our audiences on both TV and radio.”

Football League Chief Commercial Officer, Richard Heaselgrave, said: “In a short period of time The Football League Show has become an institution amongst supporters of our 72 clubs, more than a million of whom tune in every week for the comprehensive coverage the show delivers.

“We are therefore delighted that it will be continuing for a further three seasons.”

The BBC’s Football League and Carling Cup coverage will continue to be produced by IMG.

Graham Fry, Managing Director of Sports Production Worldwide for IMG, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with the BBC for The Football League Show.

The logistical challenge of filming, feeding and editing over 30 matches each weekend as well as League Cup games in midweek has been the most fulfilling production operation over the past three years and we expect the next term to be just as challenging and rewarding.”



One Response to FOOTBALL: BBC agrees new Football League highlights deal

  1. A. Nonymous says:

    Im very dissapointed that the BBC have got the Championship highlights i dont think that showing them late on Saturday night is a good idea. I wish ITV had got the rights back and put them on Sunday morning like they used to.

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