SBD/March 21, 2012/Media

BSkyB Denies That Pulling F1 Story Off Web Threatened Editorial Independence

BSkyB article reported controversial plan to shake up F1's commercial deals
BSkyB has denied a decision was made by CEO Jeremy Darroch to “order a story to be removed from the Sky News website for 40 hours after a complaint from its Formula One production team posed a threat to the channel's editorial independence,” according to Mark Sweney of the GUARDIAN. Darroch stepped in “after the article, posted on the Sky News website at 6pm on Saturday, caused F1 teams in Melbourne to voice concern to BSkyB's TV production team, who were in the city covering the inaugural race of the 2012 season.” The article reported “a controversial plan to shakeup commercial deals and sell a stake” in the sport's parent company, CVC Capital Partners. Darroch “moved to order the article to be removed from the website at midnight, about six hours after it went live.” The article then was “republished on Monday afternoon mostly unchanged, although some sections that quoted extensively from a leaked document were cut back, following a review of the process that led to the story being launched.” A BSkyB spokesperson said that he “did not agree that the move to pull the story at the behest of F1 teams, as first reported by the [Financial Times], could be viewed as a threat to the editorial independence of the Sky News operation, given the article has not been found to be inaccurate” (GUARDIAN, 3/21).
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