The London Marathon may be about to leave the BBC after four decades. Chief Hugh Brasher says the broadcaster ix talking to other channels about showing the event in the future.
London Marathon boss Hugh Brasher has revealed that after 41 years the showpiece event could leave the BBC.
Brasher is preparing to welcome 40,000 runners to Sunday’s race, with a further 40,000 running the 26.2 mile distance ‘virtually’.
It will be shown live on the BBC as usual but the contract is up this year and race director Brasher said: “It is fair to say we are talking to other terrestrial broadcasters”.
That admission will sound alarm bells a week after Sir Brendan Foster voiced grave concern at the absence of domestic athletics on terrestrial TV.
But Brasher moved swiftly to assure fans that he would not countenance taking “one of the crown jewels of British sport” off free-to-air TV.
“We have had the most amazing partnership with the BBC,” he said, confirming an announcement would likely be made later this year.
“No-one’s said we are moving, no-one’s said we’re not, just that the contract is up. We will explore all sorts of opportunities but this event lives on terrestrial TV.
Should the London Marathon remain on the BBC? Let us know in the comments section.
“This event is for Britain. This event is for the world. It has a global reach. It is the world’s most popular marathon.”
Brasher added: “We need to inspire all ages, abilities, disabilities and communities to take some control over your health, both physical and mental.
“Over 457,000 people applied for the 2020 event, and showcasing it to as many people as possible to make it inspire as many different communities as possible, is what we need to do.”