07/11/2012 11:34 GMT | Updated 07/11/2012 11:46 GMT

BBC Lose British And Irish Lions Tour Radio Rights To TalkSport

The BBC has suffered yet another casualty on their list of sports coverage, after talkSPORT beat them to radio rights for covering the British and Irish Lions' tour of Australia in 2013.

Sky Sports will televise the action from Down Under but traditionally Radio Five Live has been the go-to-station for longwave coverage. However for the first time ever they will not air commentary on any of the tour matches or three Tests against the Wallabies.

Former England internationals Brian Moore and Lewis Moody will lend their voices to talkSPORT, with the commercial radio station's rugby union expert Mike Bovill likely to front the broadcasts.

UTV-owned TalkSport, which has just more than 3 million listeners a week, has broadcast live Premier League and Champions League matches over the past two years, emerging as a serious rival to the BBC in both respects.

Already this year the beleaguered BBC has lost rights to televise horse racing to Channel 4, who will show the Grand National, Royal Ascot and the Derby from next year.

In the last 15 years, the BBC have lost or relinquished the rights to live FA Cup football, Test Match cricket, Formula One, the Boat Race and the US Masters.

The biggest jewels in their regularly raided crown remain annual events Wimbledon, The Open and rugby union's Six Nations. The BBC's revered Test Match Special team will also be on the air for the England cricket team's Test series in India this winter, despite initial doubts.

Once championed for their uninterrupted coverage of sport, in the post-Olympics climate the BBC now boast a startling lack of live sport to pull in viewers and their latest defeat will call into question the corporation's commitment to sport.

As a channel who have composed music synonymous to several separate and popular sports, numerous flagship programmes are now waving the white flag as they surrender to commercial stations and channels.

The BBC had shown the National since 1960, but Channel Four forged a long-standing identity with horse racing, and unlike their nervy and novice athletics coverage (Ortis Deley was dropped as main presenter after its August coverage of the world athletics championships), they have expert racing personalities ready to embrace the swollen workload.

Channel Four also outbid the BBC by £6m to televise London 2012's Paralympic Games, which was hosted by national darling Clare Balding.

The BBC boast Match of the Day still, but the programme has attracted an enormous amount of criticism for its anodyne analysis and chumminess between presenter Gary Lineker and the pundits.