BBC Set to Ditch Glasgow Commonwealth Games

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It has been reported that the BBC is planning to pull out of a deal to broadcast the 2014 Commonwealth Games that are to be held in Glasgow.

According to The Scotsman newspaper the London based broadcaster is reluctant to pay the costs of providing the broadcasting equipment from its Pacific Quay HQ in Glasgow needed to cover the event.

It is understood that the BBC have cited ‘financial pressures’ as the reason for abandoning the Glasgow Games as it looks to provide value for money to licence payers.

Questions will surely be asked about the BBC’s commitment to Scotland given that the broadcaster recently spent £ millions on its coverage of the recent world cup, including a £1 million spend on a special glass studio for its pundits.

Recently the BBC has been criticised for:

  • £1/4 million on a studio for the Euro Championships in Vienna in 2008 because the one that had been provided did not have a backdrop of the city. 
  • The cost of broadcasting the Glastonbury music festival in 2009 after it sent over 400 staff to the event.
  • Spending over £2 billion on new studio headquarters around the UK.
  • The redevelopment of Broadcasting House which is five years late, and at a cost of £1.05 billion is £110 million over budget.

The decision to by the BBC not to transmit the Glasgow games as ‘host broadcaster’ will now leave organisers with a financial headache.  The estimated costs of televising the event has been put at £30 million, and the TV rights are likely to be worth less than £20 million.

Gordon Arthur, spokesperson for the Glasgow Games has said that the organisers would put the contract out to tender in the hope of finding a broadcaster capable of televising a major sporting event.