Furious viewers have accused the BBC of shameless ‘self-promotion’ after using its news programmes to advertise its other shows.
Audiences complained that BBC Breakfast on Monday was filled with plugs for other shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Blue Planet II, Autumn Watch and Gunpowder.
Discussing the concerns on Newswatch, the BBC’S feedback programme, host Samira Ahmed said frustrated viewers questioned whether Blue Planet II justified its place in the news schedule.
The News at Six earlier this week dedicated a three-minute time slot to discussing David Attenborough’s latest show
Some complained that BBC Breakfast spent too long ‘promoting’ its other programmes
The News at Six earlier this week dedicated a three-minute time slot to discussing David Attenborough’s latest show – with some arguing this took precious time away from ‘real’ news.
One viewer, Tony Francis, told Newswatch: ‘It is not news that Blue Planet II is on. News items should be news items, not trails for programmes.’
Another, Hugh MacKinnon, added: ‘The Six O’Clock News featured a lengthy article on the forthcoming Blue Planet II series.
‘This of course is not and has nothing to do with news, and is nothing less than a blatant advert. Such self-promotion is not uncommon on BBC News.’
UK news editor for BBC News Richard Burgess defended the running schedule but promised to take on board the concerns, adding the corporation needed ‘to be careful we don’t overdo it’.
He added: ‘These are significant television events. A new series by Attenborough is a big moment in UK life and people are really interested.’
Audiences complained that BBC Breakfast on Monday was filled with plugs for other shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Blue Planet II, Autumn Watch (pictured) and Gunpowder
He said the BBC also discussed rival broadcaster’s shows including Netflix’s royal drama The Crown, Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off and Jeremy Clarkson’s The Grand Tour on Amazon.
Previews of the highly anticipated Blue Planet II appeared in a number of news programmes ahead of it airing on BBC One at 9pm in Sunday.
Some 16 years since the show appeared on screens, it soared ahead in the primetime ratings war, watched by an average of 10.3 million live viewers – beating both Strictly and the X Factor.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘Editorially Blue Planet II featured in the bulletins following reports on Brexit, a new congestion charge fee, Rohingya Muslim refugees and Donald Trump. That is an appropriate slot.’