Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Thursday, 20 March 2008

MP's question over BBC's F1 deal

Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory in Melbourne
ITV has held the UK rights to Formula One for the last 12 years

BBC editors should have been "probing" their senior managers more about the corporation securing Formula One TV coverage, a Labour MP has said.

Andrew MacKinlay said BBC coverage of the story had been too celebratory and lacked questions about costs.

He said the licence fee should be spent on "real sports rather than the wealthy industry of Formula One", he argued.

A BBC spokesman said managers had been available for interview. He said public response to the deal had been positive.

He said it was "standard practice" not to discuss the value of such deals owing to "commercial sensitivity".

"The public response to the BBC's announcement, judging by our message boards and blogs, has been overwhelmingly positive - and people are particularly pleased about the opportunity to watch F1 live and uninterrupted," he added.

'Brought to book'

The BBC's five-year deal, across TV, radio and online, begins next March and will end 12 years of televised race coverage on ITV.

ITV is currently three years into its own five-year contract but said it had decided to end the arrangement for "commercial" reasons.

Andrew MacKinlay
Andrew MacKinlay is the Labour MP for Thurrock in Essex

At the weekly Business Questions session in the Commons, Mr MacKinlay claimed that "in bulletin after bulletin on the BBC, they went on about Formula One being won by the BBC".

"The question they didn't ask or probe the management was how much the licence-payer is going to have to pay for something which could be provided, and should be provided, on commercial television."

And he went on: "Isn't it time that the BBC news editors were brought to book? They should be probing BBC management rather than crawling to it."

In response, Commons leader Harriet Harman promised to raise the matter with Andy Burnham, the culture secretary.

"I'm sure that the top brass of the BBC will have heard what he said, loud and clear," she added.


SEE ALSO
Formula One to return to BBC TV
20 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton wary of heat in Malaysia
20 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton hails 'career-best' win
16 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton wins dramatic F1 opener
16 Mar 08 |  Formula One
BBC responds to rugby complaints
27 Feb 08 |  Entertainment
Australia F1 night race ruled out
17 Mar 08 |  Formula One

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific