BBC set to push back news broadcast to cover women's hockey final at the Olympics


The BBC will push back its nightly News At Ten broadcast in order to show Great Britain's women's hockey team take on the Netherlands in their first ever Olympic final on Friday, according to reports.

Great Britain Hockey has said the broadcaster "confirmed" the move to it "in order to show the entire game".

The change in scheduling has not been confirmed by the BBC, which has been contacted for comment.

The report comes after sports fans took to Twitter to complain about being made to change between two channels during the semi-final, which saw Team GB beat New Zealand.

Great Britain Hockey's chief executive, Sally Munday, told the Press Association: "During an Olympic Games with so much British medal success, live coverage on BBC network television has to be earned, and our hockey team have done that with their performances on the pitch.

"It is testimony to our athletes that the BBC have shown us so often on their mainstream channels. Switching between BBC One and BBC Two is not a hardship for the viewer. We fully understand that the BBC cannot show every minute, it's impossible.

Rio Olympic Games 2016
Britain's Alex Danson celebrates after she scored a goal against New Zealand, during the women's field hockey semi-final match (Hussein Malla/AP/PA)

"The prospect of our game being on BBC One this Friday evening is hugely exciting for hockey in our nation, and we like to think we've earned that right."

The women's team has never before reached the gold medal match, their previous best results coming in 1992 and 2012 when they won bronze, but after seven wins from as many games has now set up a clash against reigning Olympic and world champions the Netherlands.

The BBC has previously faced complaints for leaving viewers to change channels during live events throughout the course of its Rio 2016 Olympic Games coverage for regularly scheduled programmes such as the 6pm and 10pm news broadcasts, and soap opera EastEnders.

Viewers have had to switch channels in the middle of events including the diving, gymnastics, tennis and cycling in recent days.

A spokesman from Ofcom said: "We have received 31 complaints about the BBC's coverage of the 2016 Olympics and are assessing these before deciding whether to investigate."

The BBC has been showing coverage across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four, along with a live stream on the BBC Sport website.

There is also a red button option for viewers and additional coverage on BBC Radio 5 live.