Parliamentary Rugby League Group Visits Media City
Officers of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group today visited Media City on Friday 30th March for a meeting with senior BBC executives to discuss the BBC’s coverage of the game on local and national radio and television.
This follows the Group’s campaign urging the BBC to review its proposals sports coverage on local radio and was used to discuss how the sport can work with the BBC across all media formats.
Speaking after the meeting on the issue of local radio, Group Chairman Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland said “BBC coverage of rugby league is crucial to the sport. The BBC do a great job on television a d radio and it was very good to hear their ongoing commitment.
“We recognise the pressures the BBC is facing and we as sports fans want to ensure there is a sensible solution to this important issue rather than simply cutting coverage. This was the first of many and I look forward to hearing the outcomes of meetings with the BBC and sports bodies, which are being led by the RFL.”
Vice-Chairman of the Group, Warrington South MP David Mowat added “when the Group saw the impact of the BBC’s proposals, we fought to ensure they weren’t implemented. Now that the important decision has been taken pause and review options, it is up to us, the RFL and other sports to offer effective alternative ways of working to ensure the outstanding level of service we are used to isn’t diminished.”
Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, said “the BBC’s recent renewal of our Challenge Cup contract, plus our commitment to re-examine any potential changes to BBC Local Radio’s output, highlight the importance we place on our coverage of rugby league. The Parliamentary Group recognises the current financial challenges the BBC faces, which is welcome news, but we look forward to working together to reflect the sport properly across the BBC”.
The Group also took the opportunity to visit the new facilities at Media City, including the RFL offices. Lord Hoyle, Vice-Chairman of the Group gave his thoughts. “Rugby league is a fantastic game and needs to be seen by as many people as possible, including those in the media. With a base in Salford, I hope that those who take decisions on the game’s behalf see just how important our game and take note. The RFL offices here will make that much easier to do and is a location befitting the sport of rugby league.”