Shame about the Boat Race

150th Anniversary marked by end of BBC coverage

 

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This year's Boat Race will be momentous for an extra reason for not only will it mark the 150 th time the race has been held, it will also be BBC's last broadcast.

 

The BBC has, for many years, been synonymous with such classically British sporting events however, according to their spokesperson, "The BBC has decided to end its 50 year association with The Boat Race in the light of the organiser's desire to pursue a highly commercial agenda for this event.

ITV won the rights to broadcast the race and have signed a five year deal with P to M Limited, the rights holders for the race.   They have already announced that they will showcase the Boat Race in an extended live programme presented by Chiswick's Gabby Logan and Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell, as well as capturing the buildup to the big day in a special documentary.

Brian Barwick, ITV Controller of Sport said: "The Boat Race is an integral part of the British sporting year - it has a genuine history, nationwide appeal and has produced some superb competition in recent times. It is a very telegenic event and ITV Sport looks forward to the challenge of giving it the same prominence as our other big sporting events."

The BBC have however promised to go out with a bang declaring,   "We intend to make the 150th Boat Race in March a fitting finale, and we are happy that we will continue to concentrate on rowing at Olympic and World Championship levels."

Due to this event's strong links and traditions with the Chiswick Area, it has been suggested that some commemorative seating should be installed to mark the 150th Boat Race in Duke's Meadow, close to the race's finishing line.The suggested seating would take the guise of two naturalistic wooden seats complete with plaque and would be located along the new Thames path, which runs from Barnes Bridge to Chiswick Bridge.

 

The race will take place on Sunday 28th March 2004 and will begin at 6.00pm.

February 26, 2004