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BBC to axe live coverage of Australian Open as part of £35m cut to sports budget... with Eurosport claiming exclusive rights

BBC to axe live coverage of Australian Open as part of £35m cut to sports budget... with Eurosport claiming exclusive rights

The BBC are to axe their live coverage of the Australian Open with the first Grand Slam of the tennis calendar the latest victim to cuts being made by the corporation.

The BBC need to cut £35million from their sports budget and are prioritising events such as Wimbledon, the Olympics, and Barclays Premier League highlights on Match of the Day.

It comes after Sportsmailrevealed that Beeb bosses are expected to make the BDO World Darts Championship in January the last to be shown on the BBC after 38 years of broadcasting the event.

 

They previously gave up TV rights to The Open as Sky Sports snatched golf's most prestigious major after 60 years of coverage, and the latest surrender will irritate tennis lovers.

 

Andy Murray has never won the Grand Slam in Australia but his finals against Novak Djokovic in 2013 and 2015 pulled in 5million and 4m viewers respectively.

The upcoming tournament, which starts on January 18, will instead be shown by Eurosport, who have confirmed they hold exclusive TV rights. 

'Eurosport in the UK is screening the Australian Open tennis tournament exclusively live in 2016,' a statement read. 'The BBC will air highlights from the tournament.'

Susanna Dinnage, managing director for Discovery Networks UK & Ireland, added: 'Eurosport offers more Grand Slam tennis coverage than any other broadcaster in the UK and we are proud to be adding this tournament exclusively live to our strong line-up, which already includes full coverage of the French Open, the LTA grass court season and the Davis Cup.'

Eurosport previously subcontracted coverage to the BBC for the semi-finals and finals, and recently renewed their exclusive rights to screen the Australian Open through until 2021. 

The move makes Wimbledon the last remaining grand slam tournament that will have live matches shown by the BBC.


Posted on 2015-12-12 15:01:02
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QUESTION?

Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

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THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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