The Met Office has lost its contract to supply the BBC with weather forecasting data, a deal which has been in place since the broadcaster’s first weather bulletin in 1922. The Met Office called the move “disappointing” but said it “will be working to make sure that vital Met Office advice continues to be a part of BBC output.”
The BBC is legally required to go through an open tender process to ensure value for money for the licence fee payer. The BBC’s graphics are already supplied by another provider and the broadcaster has confirmed that its relationship with the Met Office will continue as it intends to still broadcast the Met Office’s severe weather warnings.
A BBC spokesperson commented: “Our viewers get the highest standard of weather service and that won’t change.”
A new provider will be announced later this year and a replacement is expected to take over in 2016.
“Nobody knows Britain’s weather better and, during our long relationship with the BBC, we’ve revolutionised weather communication to make it an integral part of British daily life,” said Steve Noyes, operations and customer services director at the Met Office.
“Ranked number one in the world for forecast accuracy, people trust our forecasts and warnings. There are lots of ways to access these both now and in the future – via the Met Office app, website, and video forecasts, as well as through television and other digital news providers.”
The Met Office will continue to provide forecasts on independent television networks, as well as on its own digital channels including the app and mobile website. In a blog post the national weather service said: ‘We will be working with the BBC and others to ensure the nations official weather warnings are broadcast in a consistent way; and that our advice underpins forecasts when it matters most. We are also supporting our popular team of presenters to ensure clarity on their future.’