5th December 2008
BBC Backs UK Athletics Until 2014
05 December 2008
UK Athletics (UKA) has today announced that its major domestic track and field meetings will be televised live on the BBC until well after the London Olympics and Paralympics in 2012.
The governing body has confirmed that the BBC will remain as the host broadcaster for its Major Events Series for the next six years until December 2014.
The news comes on the day UK Athletics finalised the details of its 2009 Major Events Series confirming that the flagship Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace has again been ratified by the IAAF as a two-day event in 2009, following the success of such a move this year.
UKA chief executive Niels de Vos said: “The Major Events Series is the shop window for our sport and it is vital that we have a terrestrial TV platform for the series to take athletics to as wide and audience as possible. So the extension of our broadcast deal with the BBC is a massive boost and underlines the BBC’s commitment to the premier Olympic and Paralympic sport.
“These are hugely important events for our leading British athletes as well, providing crucial stepping stones to the season’s major championships, and the experience of competing in front of a supportive home crowd and a live TV audience against the best athletes in the world can only help the development of our major medal hopes.”
BBC head of major events, Dave Gordon, said: “We are very pleased to renew our partnership with UK Athletics at this very special and exciting time for British sport. With 2012 on the horizon, these key events will be an important part of the BBC’s overall commitment to its audiences to follow Olympic sport not only on television but across all platforms.”
Next year’s programme of live UKA events on the BBC will kick off with the Aviva International match in Glasgow on January 31 and finish with the Aviva British Grand Prix in Gateshead on bank holiday Monday, August 31.
The traditional highlight will be the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on July 24 and 25. This year’s Crystal Palace meeting saw Usain Bolt give a flavour of what he was to achieve at the Beijing Olympics with the fastest 200m ever seen in Great Britain.
The Jamaican was to go on to secure triple gold and three world records in China in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.
The other events televised by the BBC in 2009 will be the indoor Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham in February and the Aviva World Trials in the same city in July, which act as the main selection meeting for Britain’s team for the World Championships in Berlin.