BBC cuts for local radio threaten sports coverage
The British governing bodies of cricket, football and rugby league have raised deep concerns over the proposed BBC local radio cuts that will dramatically reduce coverage of their sports, The Telegraph reports.
The Football League and Super League as well as county cricket broadcasts all face less air time, or risk disappearing altogether from local radio schedules, if the proposed cuts are accepted by the BBC Trust.
Under its 20 percent cost-cutting programme, the BBC is proposing to cut local radio coverage, including a major reduction in the amount of live sport.
The BBC is proposing to cut 400 jobs from local broadcasting, with around 280 coming from local radio. This is an attempt to save £27 million ($42 million) from English regional budgets. Sport will be hit particularly hard.
The changes could see supporters of football clubs in the Championship and, in particular, League One and League Two lose their only means of following their team in every game. The mediumwave signal, used to provide alternative match commentary in areas with more than one team, is also scheduled to be cut.
The Rugby Football League is also deeply concerned. It has, along with the governing bodies for football and cricket, submitted arguments against the cuts to the BBC.
A spokeswoman for the BBC said: “Until the BBC Trust makes its decision, all discussion of this issue is speculative. But there is no doubt that the range of sport on local radio will be reduced if these proposals are accepted, and coverage of some sports will be significantly diminished”.