My complaint to the BBC about its sports coverage

The BBC has a duty to reflect the diversity of the British public.

Twenty million people watched the men’s 100m final in the Olympics, millions more were inspired by other events. Tonight sees the return of the Diamond League athletics programme – it will feature three British Olympians. The BBC has the live rights. Instead of showing it on a mainstream channel such as BBC Three the event will be on the red button only. On BBC Three at the same time will be “The Premier’s League’s Greatest Moments”. Tomorrow, the BBC’s entire sporting output will be football.

With only occasional exceptions it looks like this pattern will be repeated throughout the winter – football will not only dominate it will often be the only sport covered. Nobody is suggesting the BBC blow its budget on big ticket events it can ill afford but many of us remember Grandstand which showcased a wide range of sports every weekend. Given that broadcasting is cheaper and easier now than then it must surely be possible to recreate this style of programming – especially when the alternative is yet more talk about football but on programmes that can’t actually show any football.

The Olympics showed the genuine desire of the British people for sport in all its wonderful diversity. The BBC is responding to that by narrowing the field and focusing only on one to the exclusion of all others. Simply put: this must change.

[Sent: 17 August 2012]

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