Tokyo Olympics: Viewers hit out at ‘PITIFUL’ BBC coverage of the Games over a lack of live sports

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Viewers hit out at ‘PITIFUL’ BBC coverage of the Tokyo Olympics as fans are left furious with the Beeb AGAIN over a lack of live sports, too much talking with ‘family members and studio guests’ and too many repeats











The BBC‘s coverage of the Olympics has come under fire once again from angry viewers, with some lamenting it as ‘pitiful’ after growing tired of a lack of live sports, constant highlights and too much talking from TV hosts.

The Tokyo Games has offered up shocks and thrills all weekend – with Team GB sealing three gold medals on ‘Mega Monday’, but some have been left dismayed by the coverage being offered by the broadcaster and aired their frustration online. 

The broadcaster is only permitted to show two sports at a time during the Olympics this summer due to licensing arrangements – one through a TV channel and another on the red button.

The BBC's television coverage of the Olympics has come under fire from viewers once again

The BBC’s television coverage of the Olympics has come under fire from viewers once again

The broadcaster has been criticised for constant repeats, including Tom Daley (L) and Matty Lee's gold medal triumph in the diving

The broadcaster has been criticised for constant repeats, including Tom Daley (L) and Matty Lee’s gold medal triumph in the diving

But their decision to show highlights of a rugby sevens match instead of live Team GB women’s hockey game was criticised, with the Beeb failing to take up their ability to even show more than one live event on that occasion.

‘You do realise this game was on at the very reasonable time of 0830 am UK time,’ wrote one angry fan. 

‘You could’ve shown it live instead… Honestly can’t belief how p*ss poor this coverage is. Been watching for 2 hours and seen exactly zero live events.’

Another agreed about the lack of live action and suggested the BBC were too eager to show repeats of Team GB athletes performing and speaking to the media – with Tom Daley and Matty Lee’s triumph being circulated a number of times.

Beeb were also slammed for showing rugby sevens highlights instead of a live hockey game

Beeb were also slammed for showing rugby sevens highlights instead of a live hockey game

The BBC are only allowed to show two live events at a time after losing rights to Discovery

The BBC are only allowed to show two live events at a time after losing rights to Discovery 

‘Anyone know of any free to view places showing the Olympics? The BBC’s coverage is pitiful,’ the user wrote. ‘Good on Team GB, but let us watch other sports taking place instead of repeating the same few things 100 times.’

WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR BROADCASTING AT THE OLYMPICS? 

The BBC are only allowed to show two live sports at one time at the Games this summer after losing a bulk of its TV rights to US company Discovery.

Viewers have been left baffled about the lack of live events, although some may have been unaware about the licensing developments.

The International Olympics Committee struck a £920m deal with Discovery after the Rio 2016 Games, and this is the first summer the TV contract has kicked in.

Fans can only tune in to the events on the streaming service if they pay the £6.99 subscription fee.

The BBC had agreed to sub-licence its rights to Discovery to ensure they were still able to show some events until at least 2024, with the US firm granted exclusive pay TV rights.

Viewers were also far from impressed with the amount of talking taking place between TV presenter and guests inside the BBC studios, with some claiming producers were trying to get emotional reactions.

‘BBC coverage of the Olympics are freaking me out,’ said another fan. ‘Five minutes sport, 30 minutes torturous attempts to provoke an emotional response from family members, commentators, studio guests, passers-by, ice-cream salesmen….. anyone…’

One directly addressed TV present Dan Walker, writing: ‘Get better coverage though because stop talking for so long and show live Olympics instead. Poor coverage from the BBC.’ 

It comes just days after the BBC and Eurosport – who share the rights with them – were slammed for their coverage, with the former lamented for poor choices of live sports and the latter taken to task over some TV blunders.

Fans had tuned into the BBC hoping to see gymnastics, rowing and tennis action on Saturday, but Adam Peaty’s swimming heat did not appear on either main channel for more than an hour after it had happened, although it was available live on iPlayer. 

Both BBC1 and the red button screened the cycling road race on Saturday, which triggered complaints from tennis fans, who pointed out that they may be waiting until Thursday for their sport to air.

Rowing did feature early but the chairman of British Rowing later noted that it had disappeared from view. 

‘Am I being really thick that I can’t find rowing anywhere since the BBC moved to this road cycling?’ Mark Davies, son of commentator Barry, tweeted.

The BBC broadcasted the men's road race on Saturday, which baffled fans of tennis and rowing

The BBC broadcasted the men’s road race on Saturday, which baffled fans of tennis and rowing

TV host Walker has hit back at the stick from fans, pointing out the broadcasting restrictions.  

‘I know we’ve got used to being able to see every sport 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.’

The BBC was able to offer wall-to-wall coverage of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games, with dozen of different events available to watch for free.

But this time the International Olympics Committee has sold the majority of the UK’s rights to Discovery, which puts most of its coverage behind a £6.99 paywall. 



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