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Trust censures BBC over bids

Following a complaint from talkSPORT, the BBC has been censured by its Trust over the aggressive way it pursued the exclusive rights to coverage of the FA Cup.

In December 2008, talkSPORT submitted a Fair Trading complaint to the BBC Executive, over the BBC's actions in bidding for the radio broadcast rights to the FA Cup and England internationals.

Consequently, in January 2009 the BBC Executive Fair Trading Committee dismissed all elements of talkSPORT’s claims. The commercial station subsequently appealed to the Trust who have since found that the BBC had failed to conduct a proper competitive impact assessment when bidding for the rights.

The Trust added that BBC management, ‘must note that achieving value for money does not necessarily mean securing exclusive sports rights, and if there are other ways of meeting the obligations of a particular service licence, these must be considered.

Scott Taunton, UTV Media, Managing Director, said: “I would like to thank the BBC Trust for the manner in which they have conducted their investigation.
“We are obviously pleased with the Trust’s findings and look forward to entering future sporting rights bidding processes knowing that we are competing on a level playing field.”

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