Michael Eavis says Glastonbury will always be broadcast on the BBC

Festival organiser says he has declined offers from Channel 4 and Sky

Michael Eavis has said that he has declined big money offers from rival broadcasters keen to take coverage of Glastonbury away from the BBC.

Eavis, speaking to the Radio Times, says that both Channel 4 and Sky have offered to pay more money to broadcast coverage of the music festival in the past but that he is too big a supporter of the BBC to accept. “All through the years, we’d have people phone us from Sky and Channel 4 – ‘Can we do it, we’ll do it better, we’ll pay you more money’ – and I said, ‘Well, we’re not interested in the money. We want to support a national institution that benefits the whole wide world for free. OK? That’s it. Period’.” He adds, “We love the BBC, but then, we’ve been good to them as well.”

The BBC are set to broadcast an hour of The Rolling Stones‘ Saturday night headline set at next weekend’s Glastonbury Festival. It was previously thought that the festival’s official TV media partner would only be showing four songs from the show, but Eavis has since confirmed that a full hour of the band’s performance will be broadcast.

The end of the band’s set – which will run for a total of two hours and 15 minutes, from 9:30pm to 11:45pm on June 29 – will be seen by festival attendees only, and will include a fireworks display. Eavis also said that the Pyramid Stage area has been extended to make sure the site doesn’t become overcrowded during their performance, though he added he is still concerned about how popular the set will be, saying: “There might be a problem with the size of the crowd so it’s slightly worrying for me, in a way.”

This year’s Glastonbury festival is to be live streamed for the first time with viewers able to watch different stages as they happen. The BBC will use the latest digital technology to allow viewers to choose from simultaneous live streams from all the major stages and has announced that over 250 hours of footage will be broadcast across the weekend.

Click here to see the full list of artists and stages for Glastonbury 2013.

More news from Glastonbury 2013.