A sporting balance

Friday 30 October 2009, 11:14

Barbara Slater Barbara Slater Director, BBC Sport

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Thanks to all who posted comments on my last post, I will attempt to answer some of your questions.

First of all, it's timely that there is a question here that relates to rugby union coverage, specifically because just this week we announced a significant autumn season of rugby on the BBC spanning BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, Radio 5 Live, BBC Sport Online and BBC Red Button.

All of the Wales and Scotland matches will be broadcast live, while there will be highlights of England's matches against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.

This weekend I'm also delighted that we've got international rugby league back on the BBC when the England and Australia game is broadcast live - this being the first rugby league international on our network for nine years.

I really do believe that our rights portfolio is currently very strong and that the sports we've got on the BBC right now are extremely wide-ranging and do reflect a very healthy mix of fixtures and events. These include sports across the spectrum. For example: American football, athletics, badminton, basketball, bowls, cricket, darts, equestrianism, football, golf, gymnastics, horse racing, motor racing, motorcycling, road and track cycling, rowing, rugby league, rugby union, sailing, skiing, snooker, Summer Olympics, Paralympics, tennis, triathlon and, of course, the Winter Olympics.

In relation to the NFL query: we show and are showing the Superbowl final live and in the past we have indeed shown the Wembley NFL game as a simulcast broadcast with Sky. This year, though, we felt it was better value for licence fee payers if we showed this clash as a highlights package.

Sport on the BBC has a number of roles and it is not always to chase ratings but to provide coverage of mass popular sports as well as those that would not get the same exposure elsewhere. So while not every sport is to everyone's liking, we're attempting to attract a cross section of licence fee payers.

The Government's listed events review is currently ongoing and the results should be known by the end of the year, but you can look at our submission in full here, which should answer some of your questions.

As for the question about more details on specific events - a lot of these are still in the planning stages, but you will hear more about them as they start to be confirmed.

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