BBC and ITC back down over plans to scarp party political broadcasts

- The BBC and Independent Television Commission have backed down over their plans to scrap party political broadcasts.

- The BBC and Independent Television Commission have backed down over their plans to scrap party political broadcasts.

Strong opposition from Labour persuaded TV bosses to shelve their proposal to restrict the broadcasts to election periods. The climb-down followed veiled threats that the Government might legislate to force the BBC to honour its "public service broadcasting" commitments.

Although the BBC and ITC dropped their threat to end non-election broadcasts from next January, the long term future of the PPBs remains unclear.

After an impasse this time, the TV companies and political parties will launch another review next June, when Labour will press its case for PPBs to be much shorter than the current five minute slots.

Labour argues that making PPB's more like ads would be less disruptive to TV schedules as the traditional five minute slots.

Although the BBC has faced criticism for promoting its own services between programmes, it opposes short PPB's, fearing they would prove a backdoor route to ads on BBC TV. The Tories have backed the BBC led moves to scrap PPB's outside election times.



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