Tim Davie, the director general of the BBC, has apologized to license fee payers for a day of interruptions to sports programming.

On Saturday, football programs were abruptly canceled when presenters and commentators protested in favor of Match of the Day host Gary Lineker.

The length of Match of the Day was cut to 20 minutes.

After criticizing the government’s contentious asylum policy, Lineker was suspended. Mr. Davie, though, denied being forced into the change by the government.

Match of the Day on BBC One on Saturday night was broadcast without a presenter, without commentary, and without the participation of analysts Alan Shearer and Ian Wright.

The show also lacked its well-known theme song and opening credits. The program opened with a visual that said “Premier

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