The BBC has confirmed that it will no longer air the live draw of the UK National Lottery, dropping the Saturday night broadcast which has been a fixture on UK TV schedules since 1994.
As part of its new contract with National Lottery operator Camelot, the BBC will broadcast the draw in a special slot within its iPlayer streaming service from 7 January 2017.
BBC management stated that the decision to move the live draw to its digital platform was ‘reflected in changes in viewers’ behaviour’. The national broadcaster noted that the majority of National Lottery players used internet services to check the winning draw numbers.
Camelot’s UK National Lottery will no longer have a UK terrestrial presence, as in 2012 the BBC decided to drop its broadcast of the Wednesday evening live draw.
Confirming its decision, the BBC published the following statement “The BBC is committed to broadcasting the National Lottery with results on BBC One on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in a regular slot after the News as well as on the BBC iPlayer and online from January 2017.”
Reporting on the BBC decision to switch-off its main channel broadcast, The Sun newspaper has reported that the National Lottery show has lost approximately 17 million viewers since its 1994 launch.