Cycling could be one of the sports that vanishes from the BBC after the British television broadcaster announced it is to make £150million of cuts.
The BBC announced on Wednesday that £35million will be cut from its sports rights budget, with ‘minority’ sports, such as athletics and cycling, likely to be hit.
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In the past year, the BBC has broadcast coverage of the RideLondon-Surrey Classic, the UCI Road World Championships and Track World Cup. Much of the coverage has been available via the Red Button service, which is now also facing the axe.
The BBC has already lost the overall rights to broadcast the Olympic Games from 2022 onwards after Eurosport parent company Discovery signed a European broadcast contract for the rights, worth £920million.
The exact list of sports that may be affected has yet to be announced by the BBC, and we may have to wait until new deals are made for cycling broadcast rights until we know the fate of cycling coverage on the BBC. Formula 1, darts and snooker are also likely to be lost by the corporation.
The £150million cuts are being made to make up a shortfall in licence fees.