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BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra plans not approved

The BBC Trust has published its decision not to approve a proposal to extend the broadcasting hours of 5 live Sports Extra.

Under the BBC’s proposals 5 live Sports Extra would change from being an ‘overspill’ station to having a regular schedule of programming from 9am to 7pm including live commentary and magazine content.

The Trust decided that the BBC’s proposals had the potential to have a material impact on the market and could negatively impact talkSPORT especially talkSPORT 2 which was due to be launched at a similar time early next year.

The Trust asked Ofcom to undertake an assessment of the impact of the BBC’s proposal on others in the market and Ofcom concluded talkSPORT could be particularly affected. talkSPORT raised substantive concerns that the proposal would put talkSPORT 2 in direct competition with the BBC in seeking to procure sports rights and programming relationships with sports governing bodies, and that any expansion of Sports Extra’s remit would place commercial viability of its plans for talkSPORT 2 in question.

The Trust therefore decided that the BBC’s proposals would mean a permanent change to Radio 5 live Sports Extra’s service licence and the Trust considered this, together with the potential impact on the market, was significant enough to warrant a public value test. This would enable the Trust to assess the proposal on the basis of fresh evidence and an independent market impact assessment.

Radiocentre objected to the proposals on behalf of talkSPORT and the commercial radio sector.

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