Politics: Party `boredcasts'

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Television bosses are believed to be on the verge of proposing the abolition of party political broadcast, an institution since the 1950s. They are ready to say parties should lose their right to the five- and 10-minute broadcasts, screened before the BBC's Nine O'Clock News and ITV's News at Ten.

Parties may also find themselves facing a demand that they forfeit air- time allocated to them after the Budget and that election broadcasts, allowed during campaigns, should be no longer than three or four minutes rather than the present five or ten minutes.

A report in today's Guardian says the proposals - to be outlined in the next few weeks in a joint consultation document from the BBC and the Independent Television Commission, which governs commercial television - are prompted by concerns that viewers are becoming bored with politics and take the chance during the broadcasts to switch off.

"There are just too many on the television now," an executive told the paper. "It will help both sides if the broadcasts are only allowed during election time, when people's minds are more focused on politics."

Last year Labour and the Conservatives were allowed 10 broadcasts each - five party political broadcasts and five party election broadcasts during the election campaign. The Liberal Democrats were allowed seven.