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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Allister accuses BBC of bias over ‘scrapping of coverage’ of NW200

TUV Party Leader Jim Allister has accused the BBC of bias over concerns around the broadcasting of this year's North West 200 motorcycle racing event.

In a statement today, Wednesday 19 April, the North Antrim MLA said: “It is telling that while the BBC have scrapped coverage of the 12th and now the North West 200, they are expanding their coverage of the GAA. The bias in the organisation is transparent".

Mr Allister continued: "The North West 200 attracts many tens of thousands every year from all backgrounds and yet the BBC have decided to cut coverage while increasing their output of a sport which has a Republican ethos and feeds division in Northern Ireland.”

TUV Causeway council candidate Allister Kyle added:

“The North West 200 is a key part of the sporting and cultural calendar not just of the local area but all of Northern Ireland. It is outrageous that the BBC should so dramatically scale back coverage of the event. This will not only offend race goers but deprives a beautiful part of Northern Ireland of important publicity at a key time of the year for local businesses.”

The BBC however has refuted the claims around the event saying it will be broadcasting "more live coverage from the NW200 than ever before".

A spokesperson for BBC Northern Ireland told love Ballymena:


“BBC Sport Northern Ireland will provide more live coverage from the NW200 than ever before - bringing the best of the action to the widest possible audience across BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website.

"All of the practice sessions and races will be available to view live on BBC iPlayer and on the BBC Sport website. There will also be three dedicated TV highlights programmes on BBC One NI and BBC iPlayer and all the best action, news and reaction across BBC Sport Northern Ireland’s digital and social platforms during race week.

"The NW200 Social will be broadcast live from the course on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds on Saturday afternoon (Saturday 13 May) with Donna and Rigsy speaking to riders, fans and race volunteers.”

The North West 200 returns next month with practise sessions taking place on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 May with the races taking place on Saturday 13 May.

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