Broadcasters back down in scrap over scheduling of PPBs

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

The BBC and Independent Television Commission have backed down over

their plans to stop carrying 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 future of the PPBs remains

unclear.



After an impasse, 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 said making PPBs more like ads would be less disruptive to TV

schedules.



However, the BBC opposes short PPBs - fearing they would prove a

backdoor route to ads on BBC TV.



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