Major BBC football update that fans will hate impacting Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool and more
The future of one of the BBC’s most well-known football shows is said to the subject of talks at the BBC.
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The future of the BBC’s iconic Football Focus show is said to be under consideration after a significant drop in view figures over the last four years.
The Daily Mail have revealed the show had average weekly viewings of around 849,000 in August 2019 but that number had fallen to 564,000 last month. Although the show is not ‘under immediate threat’ but looking to tempt viewers back is now said to be ‘a priority’ for the Beeb’s newly appointed director of sport when the current incumbent of the role, Barbara Slater, retires next year.
A BBC spokesperson is quotes as saying: “Football Focus continues to herald the start of a whole weekend of sporting coverage across BBC Sport. Week-on-week it is the most watched programme during that time slot and iPlayer viewing figures are also strong, so we know its popularity is enduring for fans.”
Initially launched in 1974, Football Focus became the home of several iconic presenters including Bob Wilson, Gary Lineker and Dan Walker. The likes of Mark Chapman, Jake Humphrey and Mark Pougatch have also presented the show before moving on elsewhere. Former Arsenal and England international Alex Scott took over presenting duties in 2021 as she became the first full-time female host following Dan Walker’s departure from the BBC.
A number of well-known faces have acted as pundits on the show and one of them has already revealed he believes the end is in sight for Football Focus.
Speaking to Mail Sport last year, former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland defender Mark Lawrenson said: “It has served its time. It’s a football magazine show, but there are so many other options for viewers these days and so much competition. ‘It doesn’t surprise me. Football Focus is coming up to 50 years, which is an unbelievable run, although there was no competition 50 years ago.”