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BBC Trust chair warns of further cuts to sport

Rona Fairhead, the chair of the BBC Trust, has said it is likely that the UK public-service broadcaster will introduce further cutbacks on its sports coverage in order to save costs.

In November, the BBC announced it would cut its sports-rights budget by £35m (€49m/$53m) in 2016-17 as part of wider savings of £150m.

Rona Fairhead told the Radio Times magazine she was “sad” the BBC had given up the rights to properties such as the Formula One motor-racing world championship. The BBC has also scaled back coverage of tennis, rugby union and golf.

However, she warned that more properties are likely to be cut.

“Some [savings] will come from programme content cuts, and one of the biggest areas is sadly sport,” she said. “I find it very sad. You don’t want to get the BBC to a stage where there is so little coverage that you lose the innate production capability, and I still think that the coverage that the BBC gives of sport is superb.”