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Eurovision Song Contest, Sports Personality Of The Year & ‘Blue Peter’ Put To Tender By BBC

UK TV producers will be given the opportunity to pitch to helm the BBC’s Eurovision Song Contest coverage, Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) awards and iconic kids show Blue Peter as the BBC unveils its next set of tenders.

When in-house producer BBC Studios was handed the greenlight to make shows for third parties in 2017, the BBC in return said it would tender its in-house shows and give the indie sector the opportunity to bid for them. The BBC retains the rights to shows even if it loses the tender, as was the case with the likes of The Proms coverage and quiz show Mastermind.

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The BBC has put Blue Peter, Cardiff Singer of the World, the Eurovision Song Contest and SPOTY coverage to the market and bids will open next month. If BBC in-house loses the tenders, the first SPOTY produced by the winner would air later this year, but Eurovision’s replacement won’t start until 2026.

SPOTY, which has already been tendered once and is produced by BBC sport productions as opposed to BBC Studios, will definitely be moving from in-house, with the BBC saying that its sport productions team will not compete this time round. At least two indies registered an official complaint during the previous tender in 2019 around the make-up of the selection panel, it is understood.

Eurovision is a cornerstone of the annual BBC schedule and last year’s contest held far more significance than most due to it being held in Liverpool, after the prior year’s winner Ukraine passed on hosting duties due to the ongoing war. This year’s UK entry will be performed by It’s a Sin star Olly Alexander.

Blue Peter, meanwhile, is an iconic BBC kids show that has been produced in-house for the entirety of its 65-year run.

“These four brands are hugely important and represent the distinctive range which the BBC offers – and in tendering them we are underlining our commitment to securing the very best programmes and value for audiences,” said David Pembrey, the Chief Operating Officer of BBC Content.

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