The BBC's weather switchover is in chaos as its new provider is still not ready to take over from Met Office.
As a result it has now been forced to turn back to the Met Office for its weather information, in what is likely to be a major embarrassment for the organisation.
MeteoGroup was due to replace the Met Office last spring but its new system is months behind schedule and unlikely to be ready until next year, it has emerged.
To ensure a continuous service the BBC has now had to to sign a new contract with the Met Office until March 2018. This is despite it having publicly ditched the company.
A source told the Guardian that there were disagreements between the BBC and MeteoGroup about the quality of the new package, though both organisations denied this.
The Met Office has provided data for the BBC’s weather forecasts since the corporation’s first radio weather bulletin in November 1922.
But two years ago as part of a cost saving scheme the BBC announced it would seek a cheaper replacement. The BBC insisted that the delay would not leave it out of pocket because the Met Office contract has been extended on existing terms.
MeteoGroup will not receive payment until its new system is live. A BBC spokesperson said: “As is well known, we’re changing our weather services provider and it’s only right we take the time to make sure the new and improved service and graphics provide audiences the best possible service.
BBC Weather will continue to give people reliable forecasts on television, radio, online and our app.” MeteoGroup said the process for rolling out its new services on the BBC was “rigorous”.
“MeteoGroup was selected as a partner based on our ability to provide high-quality forecasting and new state-of-the art graphics solutions. The process of rolling these weather services out across all BBC platforms has been rigorous and the BBC and MeteoGroup are dedicated to ensuring viewers receive the best possible weather service.”