The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Fans hit out at BBC as swimming star Peaty is kicked off main channel for women’s football
THE BBC faced a backlash from angry Olympic fans after the heat of swimming favourite Adam Peaty was not shown on the main channel.
The Corporation has hugely scaled down coverage of the Games, and is able to show only two sports at once. Yesterday viewers were devastated to miss the 2016 gold medallist and world-record holder’s 100m breaststroke heat.
Instead, the BBC ran two hours of women’s football while Peaty’s victory was shown on the red button and iPlayer. One viewer, Connor Rowden, said: ‘BBC have one channel, have to devote it to 90-plus minutes uninterrupted coverage of the football. Potentially GB’s biggest Olympic star, Peaty has his minute-long heat hidden behind the red button/online.’
Fans managed to watch it live on Eurosport, a European TV network owned by Discovery. One viewer said on social media: ‘What are the BBC doing with this Olympic coverage? I’ve just watched Peaty’s heat on Eurosport and now the BBC are showing the highlights of it one hour later.’ The BBC lost the rights to screen full coverage of Olympic events in 2015 following a £920million bid from Discovery.
The reduced coverage has affected other sports too, with the chairman of British Rowing, Mark Davies, suggesting his sport was not getting enough airtime either.
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker addressed complaints on Twitter yesterday: ‘I know we’ve got used to be able to see every sport – on various streams – at the Olympics but, this time the BBC is only allowed to show two sports at the same time. It is an issue about TV rights and not an editorial choice.’