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.


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