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BBC loses live coverage of Australian Open

UK public-service broadcaster the BBC will no longer offer live coverage of tennis grand slam the Australian Open.

UK newspaper The Telegraph said the 2016 Australian Open, which takes place in Melbourne from January 18-31, will be broadcast exclusively live by pan-regional broadcaster Eurosport in the UK after the BBC failed to agree terms on a sublicensing deal. Eurosport confirmed today (Thursday) that it will be the exclusive live UK home of the tournament.

Eurosport has held the UK’s Australian Open rights for several years and has previously sublicensed the semi-finals and finals to the BBC. UK star Andy Murray reached the tournament’s final last year and in 2013, losing to Novak Djokovic on both occasions.

The BBC will retain highlights, but the latest development means the end of its live coverage of grand slam tennis other than Wimbledon.

The BBC announced last month that it will cut its sports-rights budget by £35m (€48.7m/$52.7m) in 2016-17 as part of wider savings of £150m.