BBC Under Pressure For Taking 272 Staff To Brazil World Cup

    The corporation is again taking flak for its huge resources – but sport remains one of the most popular things people like to watch.

    BBC critics complaining it's taking too many people to a major sports event is almost as old a tradition as the World Cup itself – so no surprised at these headlines today.

    The corporation is taking 272 staff to Brazil for the football World Cup this summer. In the interests of scale, 736 players will be taking part in the tournament.

    The lineup of pundits for the BBC this year includes old "favourites" Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen as well as newbies Rio Ferdinand and super-sexy Thierry Henry.

    "With over 9,000 kilometres between BBC Sport's HQ in the UK and our production teams in Brazil, it is technically very challenging to leave significant elements of the broadcast operation back in the UK. "For example, the significant delay in communications between the two countries presents an unacceptable risk to the continuity and quality of our programmes if we attempted to control the live operation from back in the UK with commentators, cameras and presentation teams spread around Brazil."

    When the BBC descends on a big tournament, it doesn't just do sport. The saintly David Beckham – pictured here being nice to typhoon survivors in the Philippines – will feature in a 90-minute documentary.

    BBC News has already been out to Brazil, filming for a programme called Brazil Soccer Cities, which makes excellent use of drone cameras.

    View this video on YouTube

    So is the BBC's expense justified? This is the list of the most-watched TV programmes in the UK since 1981. Big sporting occasions tend to (but not always) come out on top in World Cup and Olympic years.

    So when you're cheering on England this summer, or wallowing in their inevitable defeat, remember that there's an army of people out there to bring you the pictures.