Live TV coverage of party conferences axed by the BBC

The BBC’s changes to the Sunday / Daily Politics have got most of the headlines, but in amongst the changes is this:

BBC Parliament, will continue to broadcast live and replayed coverage of Parliament and the devolved parliaments and assemblies, but will not air when they are not sitting. The channel will also no longer make bespoke programmes. [Press Gazette]

That means goodbye to live TV coverage of party conferences. Goodbye too to the messages from friends such as, “I saw you on TV the other day. You were holding a pen very firmly”.

It also means one of the basic logistical features shaping when party conference is and what hours it runs is now no longer in play. Party conferences used to barely use the weekend in large part because TV coverage was there in the week and not the weekend. That’s changed in more recent years, especially for the Liberal Democrats, but other basic factors – start and end time during the week and timing of the lunch break – still heavily bear the imprint of TV coverage driven decision making.

I wonder how imaginative Federal Conference Committee (FCC) will be in thinking through what these changes might mean?

Hat-tip: Britian Elects.

4 responses to “Live TV coverage of party conferences axed by the BBC”

  1. That’s a shame – and a nuisance. My gran used to watch them all and tell me about what they’d been discussing.

    Personally my strategy of spending Conference mornings in my room working while watching on tv (I do have to go to four now) will be kaput. Or do the parties livestream them? If not they should!

  2. I don’t know about the technical and cost implications, but we should be looking at how we can make our own radio and TV broadcasts. We never could rely on any of the media to give us fair coverage, always so keen to focus on anything remotely scurrilous but rare in giving any meaningful support. Follow the Penhaligon principle, don’t rely on them, do it ourselves..(amongst our membership we will certainly have all the knowledge and expertise needed..)

  3. This could be an opportunity for us to drive people to our website as long as we have the capacity to broadcast our conference online continually while it is in session and promote this facility.

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