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SBD Global/April 4, 2014/Media

BBC Defends Taking Staff Of 272 To Brazil World Cup For '24/7' Coverage

The BBC will send 272 people to the World Cup in Brazil this summer, "although that is 23 fewer than in South Africa" in '10, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. BBC Sport Dir Barbara Slater said her “aspiration” was to make Brazil 2014 “the first 24/7 World Cup." Writing in a BBC blog, Slater said she aimed to deliver more hours of coverage than in the last World Cup for “less than the cost of a pint of milk for each viewer, listener or website user" (TELEGRAPH, 4/2). In London, Robinson & Sale wrote "there will be 12 separate commentary teams covering more than 50 matches for TV and more than 60 for radio as well as shows including a documentary about David Beckham travelling to the Amazon rainforest." The BBC and ITV "split World Cup coverage down the middle," yet the license-fee funded BBC is sending more than double the number of personnel to Brazil than its commercial rivals. Critics have accused the BBC of sending staff on a "wasteful jolly." Taxpayers’ Alliance CEO Jonathan Isaby said, "Auntie continues to send an army of staff to cover big sporting events while other broadcasters manage to with far fewer" (DAILY MAIL, 4/3). In Glasgow, Daniel Sanderson wrote the BBC "has previously come under fire for the amount of money it spends on sending large teams to cover high-profile events." Coverage of music festival Glastonbury "costs the licence fee payer in the region" of £2M ($3.3M) every year (HERALD SCOTLAND, 4/3).
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