BBC considers dropping Formula One and Wimbledon coverage
Just a day after it emerged the BBC was considering proposals to drastically cut back its local radio output reports emerge the corporation is also looking at dropping its Formula One and Wimbledon coverage.
Another day and another story of possible cut backs at the BBC. As the corporation seeks to cut back costs in light of the licence fee freeze reports have emerged at the range of measures the BBC is considering. BBC Two’s daytime schedules could be ditched and replaced with the BBC News Channel and the BBC’s local radio output could mostly be dropped and replaced by BBC Radio 5 Live. Now it has emerged the BBC is looking at its sports coverage and Formula One and Wimbledon are under threat.
The BBC are seeking to cut costs by £600m by 2014 which, ironically, is roughly when the deals to cover both Formula One and Wimbledon are believed to expire. Dropping Formula One for the BBC would not be popular for some but it is not a mainstay of the schedules. It only attracts a relatively small audience compared to other sporting events televised on the BBC and it has recently aired on ITV. The popularity of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button has driven up interest in the sport but not to hugely high levels.
Wimbledon though is a completely different case. It is synonymous with the BBC and is a firm fixture of the BBC’s summer schedules. While it undoubtedly costs the BBC millions to cover it has become a firm favourite with fans. The BBC’s daytime schedules on BBC One and Two are largely given over to Wimbledon for the two weeks which may be unpopular with some fans. But Wimbledon is a British Summer highlight and its presence on the BBC is a tradition. Any plans to drop or scale back its coverage of the Tennis event would meet with opposition and controversy. The BBC has insisted though that no decisions have, as yet, been taken.