The new Andrew Neil-fronted TV news channel GB News has explosively accused the BBC of carrying out an “ambush” against them in a bid to damage their launch, as a row has broken out about access to pooled footage of public events.
Because some newsworthy events happen in conditions that do not permit the presence of multiple camera teams, the footage is often captured on behalf of the BBC, ITV, and Sky News by a single team operating as part of the UK Broadcast Pool.
But GB News has now suggested that the national broadcaster is attempting to freeze them out of the scheme, which could make it harder for the broadcaster to provide full coverage of major public events.
“This is an ambush by the BBC designed to damage the launch of GB News and protect their dominance of UK news broadcasting” said a GB News spokesman. “We will fight it. And our launch continues.”
A BBC spokeswoman has refused to comment on what the broadcaster is calling “a speculative story”.
The alleged ambush from the BBC is not the first roadblock that has been thrown up in front of the fledgling news channel, which hopes to gain market share by more closely covering the concerns of ordinary viewers instead of metropolitan media elites.
Back in February the left-wing campaign group Stop Funding Hate called on supporters to launch a pathetic advertising boycott of the station’s sponsors, accusing it of being a “British Fox News” before it had even broadcast a moment of content.
The embarrassing campaign drew backlash from some prominent media figures including former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, who told the group bluntly: “We need to stop you halfwits.”
GB News launches tomorrow on key television services including Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, Youview, and Freesat, with members of the public eagerly awaiting new shows from beloved TV news legends like Neil and Alastair Stewart.