BBC could soon lose Match of the Day, as rivals circle chance to steal rights
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BBC could lose the rights for Match of the Day, as their rivals want the chance to show Premier League highlights in the near future.
Last weekend, we found out as a country how lost we'd be without Match of the Day, as the BBC put on a severely stripped back version, even if lots of people watched out of curiosity.
It came in the wake of Gary Lineker's tweets about the government's abhorrent immigration policy, with the presenter being taken off air, leading to a 20 minute show without any highlights.
As much as Tory MPs who sounded like they'd never watched football tried to make us believe otherwise, it was a much worse version of the country's beloved highlights show.
Even worse than MOTD without a presenter, pundits or commentators was GB News' attempts at trying to 'entertain' people, leave it to the professionals guys.
Fortunately, with the Beeb showing two live FA Cup games at the weekend, the former Leicester City forward will be returning this weekend, with the likes of Alan Shearer and Ian Wright.
However, the corporation could soon lose their rights to show weekly highlights of England's top tier, with rivals hoping to steal them away.
According to the Telegraph, competition for the next round of rights is set to be "fiercer than it has been for years" as others hope to exploit budget cuts from BBC.
There was no auction for the rights last time they came up, as companies agreed to roll current deals over during the Covid period.
However the next round of bidding will kick off later this year, with the current contracts due to expire in time for the 2025/26 campaign.
The report says that ITV haven't made a decision on entering the auction, but they and Channel 4 could both be interested in taking over the highlights.
ITV held them for a brief period from 2001 to 2004, just a couple of years after Lineker took over MOTD hosting from Des Lynam, showing 'The Premiership' at prime time on Saturdays.
Channel 4 bought the rights to show England's Nations League games last year, but fans have complained about how poor the national team has been on the station.
If the highlights did move away from BBC then it could also see the end of Lineker's days there, with his deal set to expire in 2025, and his son has claimed that's when his dad will hang up his comfy chair.