Olympics fans slam BBC coverage that can only show TWO events at once

Olympics fans slam BBC coverage that can only show TWO events at once

July 25, 2021

Furious Olympics fans slam BBC TV coverage that can only show TWO events at once – and has sidelined British athletes big moments including top rowers and badminton players

  • Mark Davies, the Chair of British Rowing, questioned lack of his sport’s coverage 
  • Britons trying to watch badminton and gymnastics took to Twitter to complain
  • Many viewers decided to switch to Eurosport or Discovery+ to watch coverage
  • American TV network Discovery paid broadcaster £920m for long-term rights
  • Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here

Furious Olympics fans have slammed the BBC’s television coverage that can only show two events at once, sidelining British athletes’ big moments.

Mark Davies, the Chair of British Rowing, questioned the lack of his sport’s coverage, saying he spent 25 minutes ‘looking on every coloured button and web page’.

And Britons attempting to watch the badminton and artistic men’s gymnastics lamented that it was a ‘shame’ they couldn’t watch some of the broadcasts. 

But Dan Walker, who fronted the live coverage that led to complaints, took to Twitter to set the record straight and address viewers’ concerns.

He shared a post explaining that the broadcaster is showing less live sport than previously due to American TV network Discovery paying £920million for the long-term rights. 

Britons attempting to watch the badminton and artistic men’s gymnastics lamented that it was a ‘shame’ they couldn’t watch some of the broadcasts

Mark Davies, the Chair of British Rowing, questioned the lack of his sport’s coverage, saying he spent 25 minutes ‘looking on every coloured button and web page’

The Chair of British Rowing tweeted: ‘Am I being really thick that I can’t find rowing anywhere since the BBC moved to this road cycling? I’ve spend the last 25 minutes looking on every coloured button & web page. 

‘214km of road cycling to go and the women’s IV- is done & the men are off shortly!’

Rachel Hooper, British Rowing’s learning, education and development manager, responded: ‘Nope. 

‘We’re all stumped why a 6 hour race is being prioritised over a 6 minute one!’

British four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Matthew Pinsent said the BBC ‘can only show two things at one time’.

He added: ‘Discovery have the full UK rights but I doubt are showing rowing.’  

Furious Olympics fans have slammed the BBC’s television coverage that can only show two events at once, sidelining British athletes’ big moments

Many viewers decided to switch over to Eurosport or Discovery+ to watch coverage of their favourite sports.

One person tweeted: ‘Such a shame though – luckily have got free Discovery+ for 12 months and have Eurosport!’

Mr Walker tweeted: ‘For all those asking understandable questions about the change from all Olympic sports being streamed by the BBC to the new right’s agreement… Tom provides some helpful context here.’

Dan Walker, who fronted the live coverage that led to complaints, took to Twitter to set the record straight and address viewers’ concerns

The subsequent post read: ‘For those unhappy the BBC isn’t showing as much live sport from the Tokyo Olympics as it used to:

‘Discovery now has the pan-European rights; the BBC subcontracts them; Discovery paid £920m for those rights; £920m would pay for ALL BBC network radio **three times over**’. 

A spokesman for the BBC told The Sunday Telegraph that the arrangements had been known since 2017, saying that the broadcaster ‘will continue to bring extensive coverage from the Games including all the must see moments’. 

But he added: ‘The BBC is no longer able to offer live streams of every sport during the Olympics due to the terms of the licensing arrangements laid down by the rights-holder (Discovery).’ 

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