Wimbledon could move to BT Sport as BBC considers sharing broadcasting rights

Cuts to licence fee could mean tournament is shown on pay-TV

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The Independent Online

Wimbledon could be aired on a channel other than the BBC for the first time because of potential cuts to the licence fee.

The channel has shown the tournament exclusively for almost 80 years but with potential cuts in 2016 it is examining where savings could be made.

According to the Daily Telegraph talks have already been held, with BT Sport the most likely to share coverage of Wimbledon.

The two channels already share coverage of the FA Cup and pre-Wimbledon tournaments, while only this week BT Sport acquired a share of the rights from the BBC to show the BDO World Professional Darts Championship.

The move could prove to be deeply unpopular with much of the Formula One calendar and all Test cricket having moved from free-to-air to pay-TV in recent years; the current Wimbledon contract ends in 2017.

With BT Sport having taken Champions League football away from ITV, the BBC is also at risk of losing Match of the Day as the rival channel prepares a large bid for a Saturday night football highlights show.