BBC racing rights move 'shameful'

MPs have criticised the BBC's decision to share Formula One rights with Sky - meaning motorsport fans will have to subscribe to Sky Sports to see all races in the calendar.

The BBC backed out of a five-year, £40m contract withF1's commercial rights holder two seasons early, and will now only show certain races, with the remainder exclusive to Sky.

Luton South Labour MP Gavin Shuker told theCommons: "Formula One, and motorsport more generally in this country, is a multi-bullion pound industry with names such as Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull effectively becoming great British brands.

"Following the shameful decision of the BBC to sell-out to Sky, what will you do to protect this industry so it isn't sold out in the same way as many fans who are going to have poor quality coverage for the next decade are being sold out?"

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson responded: "The decisions the BBC makes about how to spend its budget are a matter for it alone."

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