Chief constable David Crompton says South Yorkshire Police was approached by a BBC journalist with detailed information about its investigation into Cliff Richard.
It "reluctantly agreed" to give the reporter notice of the day officers planned to search the property to dissuade them from publishing details in advance and protect the "integrity of the investigation". "It was not done in order to maximise publicity, contrary to some press reports," Mr Compton wrote in a letter to Keith Vaz.
Mr Crompton said an article appeared on the BBC website on the afternoon of the raid that suggested there had been a deliberate attempt to "ensure maximum coverage" by the force.
"The force contacted the BBC but the corporation refused to withdraw or adapt the article," he said in the letter.
"This appeared to be an attempt by the BBC to distance itself from what had taken place and cover up the fact that it had initiated contact with the force about the story. "This was misleading and was known by the BBC to be inaccurate."
More top news
A Labour MP opposed to Jeremy Corbyn just texted me: he has until next year to prove he can win the General Election in 2020.
21-year-old Ross Greer has been elected as the youngest-ever Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), representing the Green Party.