Sugar hails new TV set top box
Lord Sugar has hit out at "bureaucrats" who fail to understand the "dynamic" television industry.
The Labour peer unveiled a new set top box he said will give viewers a "whole new way" of watching television - and on Thursday he highlighted the project at question time in the House of Lords.
The £299 box, called YouView, is backed by the BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5 and broadband providers including BT and TalkTalk and combines Freeview channels with the internet and on-demand services.
The project, which has cost £70 million, has been delayed with the boxes originally intended to be in shops last year.
Amid heckles from peers who thought he was taking too long to plug his new venture, Lord Sugar said YouView was "a non-profit making organisation" and "a new system of broadcasting and television for the UK made up of all the publicly funded broadcasters".
His comments came after Labour peer Lord Whitty questioned whether the Government planned to transfer responsibility for media, broadcasting, digital, telecommunications and oversight of Ofcom back to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
But Lord Sugar said: "Is it not irrelevant where the responsibility lies as to who is looking after this sector? What perhaps is more relevant is that the people in the department are qualified and understand what this business is all about.
"It is a dynamic and fast-moving sector and this particular company that I was referring to is going to give opportunities to individuals to start their own television channels and we do not need bureaucrats that don't understand the dynamic industry."
Baroness Garden of Frognal, answering for the Government, replied: "It does make a lot of sense to have all of these issues within a department which is called the department for media and where expertise from officials will reside. It is more likely to be helpful for the creative industries."
Responsibility for areas such as television were removed from Vince Cable's department when he was secretly taped saying he was "declaring war" on Rupert Murdoch while he was assessing a bid for control of BSkyB from the media mogul's company.