Sport splits from OB experts SIS Live

Inside a SIS truck at Wimbledon SIS Live helps the BBC broadcast from events like Wimbledon

BBC Sport is to end its partnership with SIS Live, which has supplied most of its outside broadcast kit and expertise for the past five years.

Barbara Slater, director of sport, said they were 'unable to reach a commercial agreement' with the company, whose contract ends in March next year.

SIS Live - which bought BBC outside broadcasts in 2008 and took on around 300 BBC OB specialists - has helped the corporation cover many high profile sporting events including the Olympics, Wimbledon, the London Marathon and the Boat Race.

Barbara Slater, director of sport, said she was 'extremely grateful' to them.

'We are very disappointed that an agreement could not be reached and it goes without saying that we wish them all the best in their future endeavours,' she added.

New contracts

The BBC has now awarded new contracts to a mix of providers. NEP Visions will work on athletics, tennis and Wimbledon coverage; CTV will cover the Boat Race, football and the London Marathon; Telegenic support Rugby League and Rugby Union output; and Presteigne Charter take on Formula 1.

'The mix of suppliers we now have ensures best value for money for licence fee payers and will bring more innovation to the BBC's coverage of sporting events,' Slater believed.

Other contracts, including those for the Open Golf, FA Cup, Sports Personality of the Year and Olympic events, are yet to be decided.

BBC Sport has drawn up a list of companies that can pitch for future business, but SIS Live has been excluded.

Bectu said that the BBC had shown 'high-handed disregard' for its long-standing contractor.

'Many of these staff are former BBC employees... and all of them now face an uncertain future,' said branch official Sean Kelly.

'These highly skilled workers will see the BBC's decision as a gross act of betrayal, given the very high levels of service and commitment demonstrated.'

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