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BBC — [Phil Wilson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:50 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Conservative, Cleethorpes 5:50 pm, 15th July 2019

My hon. Friend makes a good point. There is no doubt that many important events in this country and around the world go unreported, when items that in the great scheme of things are perhaps more trivial find their way on to the airwaves, and perhaps that is a reflection of the organisation itself.

I am still, broadly speaking, a supporter of the BBC. I should like it to continue in some shape or form, if that is realistic in this multi-channel age when sports rights, for example, cost the earth. Lesser sports, shall we say, are now coming on to the BBC, and I have no problem with that. It is only right that they should get an airing. However, after the success of the Lionesses in the recent women’s World cup, there is no doubt that Sky, BT or someone else will come sniffing around by the time of the next women’s World cup, and it will be lost to the great majority. We saw only yesterday, with the cricket world cup, how free-to-air brings the country together on great sporting occasions.

I suspect that if I am home by 10 o’clock tonight I shall watch the 10 o’clock news on the BBC rather than any of the other offerings, but I think that the BBC needs to reflect. I am content with the present system continuing for at least the foreseeable future. I am not entirely convinced that the majority of my constituents would agree. That should cause the BBC and the Minister to reflect on the present structure and whether it can continue.