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BBC to ‘reinvent’ free-to-air sports broadcasting

Over a thousand extra hours of live sport could be available every year

The BBC is planning to deliver its biggest increase in live sporting coverage in a generation.

The corporation said it plans to ‘reinvent’ free-to-air (FTA) sports broadcasting, making over a thousand extra hours of live sport available every year via BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer.

The BBC is working closely with the likes of the Football Association, the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the International Tennis Federation, British Swimming and British Basketball, and aims to provide coverage from more than 30 additional sports or sporting events every year, including World, European and National Championships.

This will include early rounds of the FA Cup, Rugby League Challenge Cup, Women’s Super League Football, the British Basketball League and Wheelchair Tennis.

Tony Hall, BBC director general, said: “This shows how we’re reinventing the BBC for a new generation. We’re giving people more of what they love by working in partnership with the sports industry and making the most of digital technology.”

According to the BBC, the extra coverage has been made possible by low-cost streaming technology developed in-house in recent years. The technology, said the BBC, can now be used to cover hundreds more hours of live coverage, and a wider range of events, every day.

Barbara Slater, head of BBC Sport, added: “We’ve seen the nation get behind a whole host of sports in recent years, especially at major events. We want to use BBC Sport’s live streaming service to showcase more of those moments that inspire people to take part. Put simply, it’s a huge expansion in the availability of free-to-air sport in the UK.”