Thursday 27 Nov 2014
The BBC announced today that it has appointed the Met Office to supply its weather services following a competitive tender. The new contract will run for a period of five years.
The new contract means the Met Office will continue to supply weather services to the BBC. This includes the data on which the forecasts are based, on-air presenters and forecasting services across BBC output on TV, radio, online, mobile and Red Button.
The tendering process began in September 2009 with the publication of a notice on the Supplying the BBC website.
Following a thorough bid process and rigorous evaluation the BBC selected the organisation it felt could best deliver the required services and offered the best value for money for licence fee payers.
The Met Office has demonstrated its ability and commitment to deliver a high quality service – through accuracy, consistency of data and flexibility.
The new contract means that the public will get more data for more locations and more frequently throughout the UK and around the world – which will help keep weather forecasts consistent and accurate.
It will also allow the BBC and the Met Office to organise their resources in a way which will help provide the most consistent forecasts across TV, radio, online, mobile and Red Button.
Mark Byford, BBC Deputy Director General and Head of Journalism, said: "Weather is a key part of the BBC's news and information services, and, of course, is of endless fascination to us all across the UK. Not only do our audiences come to us in huge numbers for regular weather updates each day across all our platforms but they also turn to the BBC for accurate information and forecasts when big weather stories happen anywhere across the country.
"This announcement follows a very thorough and competitive tender process and we are confident the new contract with the Met Office will deliver strong value for licence fee payers and will enable, through this partnership, BBC Weather to produce authoritative, reliable, accurate and innovative forecasts on which our audiences rely."
John Hirst, Chief Executive of the Met Office, said: "The Met Office leads the world in broadcast meteorology and we are delighted to renew our weather broadcasting partnership with the BBC. This contract ensures that the BBC's UK and global audiences will continue to receive trusted forecasts and critical warnings from the Met Office."
The BBC Weather Centre is a fully multimedia operation with over 100 broadcasts a day, on TV, radio, online, mobile and the Red Button. This covers the BBC's national, regional and international channels, as well as a full schedule of broadcasts at weekends. The Weather Centre also issues a variety of weather bulletins for other BBC services including BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and the British Forces Broadcast Service (BFBS).
The TV weather forecasts are live and unscripted, and their preparation uses some of the most innovative computer software around.
The BBC weather presenters are trained broadcast meteorologists; supported by data and information provided by the 24/7 Met Office Operations Centre in Exeter.
Weather broadcasts have formed a part of the BBC's output for over 80 years. On 14 November 1922, the BBC broadcast the first radio weather bulletin to the public when an announcer read a script and on 26 March 1923, daily radio forecasts began. On 11 November 1936, the world's first television chart was transmitted and on 11 January 1954, George Cowling became the first person to present a weather forecast on British television.
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