Setback for UK Athletics as BBC balks at new £3m TV rights deal, Exclusive to Guardian, by Sean Ingle


The change in the relationship between BBC and UK Athletics began when UK Athletics dumped Fast Track and took on the job by themselves. In 2013, the BBC cut the number of events and the word got out that BBC was not happy.

UK Athletics ignored not only BBC but also its largest sponsors because the former management did not want one sponsor with 50 million sterling but several sponsors making up that 50 million sterling. A past sponsor who offered 15 million sterling did not have the phone calls returned. This writer spoke to the former sponsor himself.

The real story here is still the same. Alan Pascoe, Jon Ridgeon and Ian Stewart, who had saved UK Athletics, were completely hosed because someone thought that they could do it cheaper and better.

Be careful what you wish for.

Sean Ingle, one of our fave writers, did this piece justice. Well done, Sean!

Birmingham-Diamond-League,-2016,-credit-Ricky-Simms-3.jpgBirmingham Diamond League, photo by Ricky Simms

UK Athletics is facing a fresh crisis over the renewal of its £3m-a-year TV deal with the BBC which runs out this summer, the Guardian has learned.

Insiders fear the BBC is only willing to pay a fraction of what it currently pays for the rights for elite athletics in the UK - which includes two Diamond League meetings, the British championships and the indoor grand prix - because of the declining popularity of the sport. That could put further financial pressure on UK Athletics, whose reserves have dropped from more than £4.5m in 2016 to £2.8m last year.

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