Movie Madness! Beeb to Switch off 35 Football League Games for Swayze Film

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Byline: by LAURA WILLIAMSON

THE BBC has opted to show movies instead of The Football League Show over the festive period, prompting fears the programme could be axed at the end of the season.

Many fans of the 72 clubs that make up the Championship, League One and League Two have already reacted with dismay that they have been denied a rare snapshot of their sides on national terrestrial television.

Last season, total attendances for Football League matches surpassed those in the Barclays Premier League, with more than 16million tickets sold -- 2.5m more than for the top flight of English football.

The Football League Trophy, won by Carlisle United, attracted an additional 207,395 spectators and another 354,132 fans watched the promotion play-offs.

Despite being shown after Match of the Day late on Saturday nights, The Football League Show, presented by Manish Bhasin with Steve Claridge in the pundit's chair, still attracts around two million viewers each week.

But instead of showing League One leaders Charlton twice coming from behind to beat Yeovil 3-2, or what the 27,794 fans who watched Middlesbrough beat Hull City 1-0 on Boxing Day saw, the BBC showed 2006 film The Guardian, starring Kevin Costner.

On January 2, when 35 Football League matches take place, the corporation will screen 1991 film Point Break with Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze after the Premier League highlights programme on BBC One.

There will be no The Football League Show on New Year's Eve and the programme will not return until a Carling Cup special on January 10 followed by a regular Saturday night round-up on January 14. …