BBC Rejects 'Losing' Holyrood TV Claims

The BBC has rejected claims that it may lose its broadcasting contract at the Scottish Parliament, because of cost-cutting at Holyrood. It says regulations it agreed to three years ago means it is unable to bid for the contract when it next comes up for grabs, next year.

Yesterday, the Scottish Mail on Sunday reported that Holyrood officials were looking to start their own, cut-price TV service, as part of measures to save £12 million.

Says the newspaper, the BBC was handed a £3.85 million seven-year contract to televise Holyrood in 2002, and began its coverage two years later. The broadcasting contract comes up for renewal next August.

But a spokesperson for the BBC told “We agreed that we could not bid and told Holyrood that. And the reason why we are not bidding is because we are prevented from doing so, because of Fair Trading regulations agreed in the latest [licence to broadcast] Charter in 2007.”