Politician questions BBC-Sky deal

2 September, 2011

Don Foster

Don Foster

Sep.2 (PVM) The controversial sharing of Formula 1 TV rights between BBC and Sky Sports continues to boil in Britain as, Liberal Democrat spokesman for Culture, Media and Sport, Don Foster has written to the BBC requesting that they reveal the mechanics of the deal which he says fans deserve to know.

The Mirror reports that Foster wrote a letter, which they have seen, to BBC stating: “I do not believe plans to share coverage between the BBC and Sky promote the best interests of licence fee payers and motor racing fans. I believe the best result would have been for the rights to remain with a free-to-air broadcaster, even if this was not the BBC.”

He questioned the reasons, made public by BBC, for making the deal with pay-to-view Sky Sports and declared, “My main concern is that your account of who made the key decisions behind the agreement does not agree with the version of events given by Formula 1 Management.”

“The least fans deserve is a clear account of what happened,” he charged.

Adding, “I do not believe plans to share coverage between the BBC and Sky promote the best interests of licence fee payers and motor racing fans. I believe the best result would have been for the rights to remain with a free-to-air broadcaster, even if this was not the BBC.”

Last month F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone revealed, “BBC brought Sky to us with the idea of a joint contract. It wasn’t us who made that decision.”

The Mirror report points out that “critics claim BBC bosses blocked offers from their terrestrial rivals, including Channel 4, by arranging a deal with Sky behind closed doors.”

Executives, including BBC director general Mark Thompson, face further scrutiny in front of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee next month.


  • Bec

    Almost certainly nothing will come of this, because as we’ve seen with similar committees that Murdoch and Blair have been dragged before, they just refuse to say anything, or they are simply disingenuous.

    But it’s clear that many people within the UK parliament now realise that the BBC did the deal with Sky to stop Channel 4 showing F1, and that was clearly not in the interests of viewers.

    But the BBC will ride this storm out … As usual.

  • http://Comcast.net tony sullivan

    politicians should mind their own business – it is bad enough we have to endure the foolishness of BE – we dont need elected ninnies in the mix

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