The BBC’s director of radio and education has called for television service providers to be forced to give top billing to the corporation.
James Purnell says the BBC should be protected by new laws that promote its shows over those of rivals.
Purnell says that the shows the BBC makes must be given more prominence in television guides than those of commercial services Sky, Amazon and Netflix.
The issue is due to be debated in the House of Lords today. Current legislation, introduced in 2003, means that the public service channels, including BBC One, BBC Two, ITV and Channel Four must appear at the top of all television listings.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Purnell says “This isn’t about forcing people to watch public service programmes, or stopping anyone watching US shows we all love. It is about making sure you can find them easily.”
“It’s not just the BBC who’s worried about this,” says Purnell “ITV, Channel 4 and the House of Lords communications committee have all said it’s time for change as well.”