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BBC boss to face MPs over F1 deal

BBC boss Mark Thompson to face questions over new TV deal with Sky
The director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, will face questions from MPs about the new F1 television deal which will see coverage shared with Sky from next season.

The announcement of the new deal earlier this season caused uproar with fans, with free-to-air coverage of the entire campaign coming to an end. Instead, the BBC will broadcast only ten races live, while Sky will show all 20 races in their entirety.

Now, a letter from select committee chairman and Conservative MP John Whittingdale to Liberal Democrat culture spokesman Don Foster has revealed that concerns from a large number of people will see the matter discussed when Thompson and BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten appear before MPs in December to discuss BBC governance.

"The committee has received a large number of emails and letters on the subject,” the letter – seen by the Guardian newspaper – read. "The new licensing agreement for Formula One coverage is a commercial decision for the BBC and Formula One Management. However, the committee will be holding its annual evidence session with the chairman of the BBC Trust and the director general of the BBC in December.

"It is highly likely that members will wish to explore at that meeting some of the concerns that have been expressed over Formula One.”

F1 returned to the BBC back in 2009 but the corporation was forced to look at alternative options for its coverage as part of a need to reduce costs.

Tagged as: BBC , television , Sky , Mark Thompson

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Taz - Unregistered

October 27, 2011 10:17 AM

Yet another pointless grilling that will achieve nothing. F1 is lost to Sky, a show committee will change nothing. If the government was in the slightest concerned about protecting the fee payer they' have stepped in them it was announced. It's all just for show.

Caroline - Unregistered

October 27, 2011 11:23 AM

Continued ... Indicating that the BBC approached Sky so as to freeze Channel 4 out of the picture, and leave viewers with less F1 than they could have reasonably expected.

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