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SBD Global/October 29, 2013/Media

BBC Could Lose Rights To Top Sporting Events Over $242M License Fee Dispute

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The BBC "could lose the rights to broadcast sport's 'crown jewels' including the FA Cup, World Cup and Wimbledon," according to Matt Chorley of the London DAILY MAIL. At present, around £150M ($242M) of the license fee "is used to buy up some of the world's biggest sporting events so they can be shown free-to-air." But now ministers "have been urged to consider handing that money to rival broadcasters." It is suggested that while the so-called "crown jewels" events in the sporting calendar "should be on free-to-view channels, the BBC should not automatically receive the funding to air them." Tory party Chair Grant Shapps warned at the weekend that the TV license fee "could be cut unless the BBC tackles a 'culture' of secrecy, waste and bias." But the aggressive approach "could go further, with ministers looking at breaking the link between the BBC and licence fee itself." Every year the Corporation spends £150M "buying the rights to major sporting events, including Wimbledon, the FA Cup, Six Nations rugby, Formula 1, which is now shared with Sky, and Premier League highlights for Match of the Day." Rival broadcasters believe "there should be a level playing field, with the BBC unable to give away for free events that they have to pay for" (DAILY MAIL, 10/28).
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