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MP blasts: BBC deal favours English over Scots.

The BBC's £200 million contract to host Formula 1 for the next five years has come under fire from a Scottish MP who is demanding a government inquiry into the big money deal after he claims the Beeb would not pay a fraction of that total to broadcast Scotland international football matches on terrestrial television.

Paisley North MP Jim Sheridan is writing to the head of the culture, media and sport committee, John Whittingdale, asking them to look into the agreement, and has also said he will write to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham.

Scotland's international games will be shown on digital channels, preventing some fans from seeing the matches at all. The F1 deal comes just months after the BBC was outbid by satellite channels for the national team's games.

“It is beyond comprehension that Scotland football fans will not be able to watch their matches on terrestrial TV,” blasted Sheridan, “chairman of the All-Party Scottish Football Group at Westminster.

“I will be asking the committee to launch an inquiry into how the BBC came to buy the rights for Formula 1 and not the Scotland games. Andy Burnham also has to understand the strength of feeling about this.

“It's nauseating to know that fans in England will be able to watch their team on terrestrial TV but Scotland fans will not.”

The BBC has defended the move, insisting that F1 is 'hugely popular' across the UK, meaning they are providing programming for the nation rather than just a region.

The corporation's bosses were slammed by the Tartan Army – Scotland's football supporters – at the weekend after the F1 deal was announced.

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Al - Unregistered

March 26, 2008 9:42 AM

Football is to blame for its own costs, and as for MPs complaining about any type of costs, lets see a full disclosure of all MPs expenditure claims, then we''ll consider some possible complaints about BBC expenditure.

Craig Furniss - Unregistered

March 26, 2008 10:59 AM

I find it quite amusing that with coverage of Leagues 1 & 2, The Championship, The Premiership, The Champions League, The UEFA Cup, The FA Cup, The Inter Toto Cup, The European Championship Qualifiers and Finals, World Cup Qualifiers and Finals, International Friendlies, Under 21 Internationals, Womens Football, Schoolboy Internationals, The Italian League, The Spanish League, The African Nations Cup and Copa America, AND the likes of Master League and Beach Football ALL being shown on television somewhere, or rounded up on Match of the Day, or being played down your local pub every single weekend, that Scottish football fans seem to think that there isn't enough "footy" on tv already.

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