BBC agrees live-streaming tie-up with UK Sport
The BBC, the UK’s public-service broadcaster, is to show even more coverage of Olympic and Paralympic sports events after it secured a live-streaming agreement with UK Sport, the national sports administration funding body.
Through the collaboration agreement, BBC Sport, the broadcaster’s sports unit, is to lend technical and editorial support for coverage of sports in the Olympic and Paralympic programme in order to enable them to broadcast more widely.
In addition, BBC Sport will live-stream events on its website, although, some streaming will be restricted by rights deals in place.
UK Sport said that the increased exposure will “keep Olympic and Paralympic sports and their stars in the public eye between games times, with more events such as world, European and national championships likely to be shown.”
The collaboration with the BBC forms part of UK Sport’s £30-million ($39-million) plan to stage several sporting events in the UK over the next eight years.
UK Sport’s ambitious plan includes providing domestic sports bodies or events with the technology to stream online or via platforms such as BBC Sport.
Over the next few years, the UK will host the 2018 Hockey Women’s World Cup, 2018 Boccia World Championships, 2019 Netball World Cup and 2019 World Road Cycling Championships.
The country could soon add two more major events to the calendar as Birmingham is still in the running to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Liverpool has just launched its bid for the 2022 World Gymnastics Championship.
The BBC is the UK free-to-air rights-holder for the next four editions of the Olympic Games.
Commenting on the agreement, Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “We have been covering Olympic and Paralympic Sports for decades and we are now taking that commitment to a completely different level. We are going to be streaming more live sport for more people, across mobile, computers, tablets and TV. We will be working closely with UK Sport to ensure the major events they support in the UK reach the biggest possible audience.”
Simon Morton, director of major events at UK Sport, added: “Our mission is to inspire the nation with the success of our Lottery-funded athletes on the world stage. A key part of that involves hosting the some of the biggest international sporting events here in the UK so that the public can see our stars in action for themselves. By working with our partners to enable them to live stream more of these major events on easily accessible platforms such as the BBC Sport website we will help realise that vision.”
Last month, the BBC revealed plans to offer an additional 1,000 hours per year of live sport on its digital platforms.
The broadcaster has been working closely with partners such as the All England Lawn Tennis Club, England’s Football Association, the International Tennis Federation, British Swimming and British Basketball to expand its sports offering.
The result is coverage of more soccer matches from the domestic FA Cup, including the qualifying rounds, and Women’s Super League, plus increased coverage of the British Basketball League and wheelchair tennis.
The action is or will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website and via the iPlayer service, with fans able to personalise the online experience to follow the sports they are most interested in.