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Fans of Accrington Stanley, Plymouth Argyle and even our own Brighton & Hove Albion have been dealt a blow this morning as reports have sprung of the BBC’s decision to axe the Football League Show.
The popular football highlights round-up is the only show on UK terrestrial television to show action from those teams below the Premier League, but reports claim that Beeb bosses are ready to hand the show a red card.
A source from the BBC told the Daily Mirror: ‘This will be the last season the BBC broadcasts the Football League Show. It is coming to the end of a three year contract and it will not be renewed.’
Speculation did begin to mount after the Boxing Day edition of the show was scrapped and won’t actually return until mid-January – missing the most pivotal fixture pile-up of the campaign.
While presenter Manish Bhasin took to Twitter to deny reports of the show’s premature demise, not many are surprised or questioning these disappointing reports.
Regularly drawing in excess of 2 million viewers during it’s peak period, the Football League Show immediately follows Match of the Day, but seems to be falling victim to the Beeb’s 15% cut in its sport budget.
With the BBC already losing the exclusive rights to broadcast Formula 1 earlier this year, who’s to say what could be next?
Sky and ITV currently dominate the live football market with rights for Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and International action between them.
Has the BBC woken up to realise that it’s fighting a losing battle? What’s to say we now won’t see Match of the Day being sent for an early bath.