By Duncan Mackay

BBC_logoJune 30 - Glasgow 2014 has appointed the BBC as the domestic broadcast rights holder for the Commonwealth Games, it was announced today.

The deal includes coverage on BBC One and BBC Two television networks, news coverage across the BBC Radio, including Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra, red button interactive and IPTV servies, the BBC Sport website and international promotion of the Games through BBC World News and the BBC World Service. 

In addition, it is expected that the BBC's Nations and Regions sport and news teams for television, radio and online will generate considerable additional interest by focusing on the performance of local competitors in those parts of the British Isles which compete at the Games as separate teams.

"I am delighted that the BBC has taken up the domestic rights for the Commonwealth Games and I believe this deal represents a huge vote of confidence in Glasgow 2014 as well as the Commonwealth Games Movement in general," said Lord Robert Smith, the chairman of Glasgow 2014.

"We anticipate some of the world's highest profile athletes will compete at our Games, fresh from their successes at London 2012.

"The added spice will be seeing the stars of Team GB in their own national colours in Glasgow, just two years later.

"The BBC's reach will help us to generate a huge level of excitement and anticipation in the lead up to the biggest event Scotland will ever have hosted."

The deal will be a relief to Glasgow 2014 organisers who two years ago feared the prospect of being left with a £20 million ($32 million) hole in their budget as a result of a recommendation to drop the Commonwealth Games from Britain's protected list of free-to-air televised sporting events.

The recommendation, included in a report produced by former Football Association chief executive David Davies and commissioned by the previous Labour Government, was later overturned by the new Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson.

Sir_Roger_Bannister_wins_Miracle_Mile_Vancouver_1954It continues the BBC's association with the Commonwealth Games which dates back to 1954, when they were staged in Vancouver and featured the famous "Miracle Mile" when both John Landy and Sir Roger Bannister ran the distance in under four minutes, the first time it had been done. 

"BBC Scotland will have a special role at the heart of our coverage in giving the Games extensive exposure in Scotland across our dedicated TV, radio and online services – all of which will make the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games a truly momentous occasion in Scotland," said Ken MacQuarrie, the director of BBC Scotland. 

Glasgow officials will be hoping the announcement helps shift attention from the controversy that has surrounded the shock resignation earlier this week of chief executive John Scott, who was forced to step down from his £179,000 ($286,000) per year post after what it was claimed was "an error of judgement" when he accepted a gift from a potential supplier that was above the £100 ($160) limit allowed.

"The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will showcase Scotland to the world and this is another key milestone in the delivery of the Games.," said Shona Robinson, the Minister for the Commonwealth Games and Sport.

"While we urge everyone to come to Scotland and be part of this great event, I am pleased that the award of the domestic rights to the BBC means that most people in the UK will be able to enjoy the spectacle of the Games on free to view television in their homes.

"Income from the sale of broadcasting rights is a welcome contribution to the Games Budget alongside the funds provided by the Scottish Government and its funding partners."

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