More than 1000 rugby league fans answered the Parliamentary Rugby League Group call to respond to the BBC’s proposals to alter coverage of local sport on BBC Local Radio.
The Parliamentary Group, comprising MPs from all political parties, was the first to recognise the impact the proposals would have on coverage of all sport on BBC Local Radio and asked rugby league supporters to respond to the BBC making clear that the proposals would have significant impact on the sport if enacted.
The Group itself responded to the consultation and sent copies directly to BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten and BBC Chief Executive Mark Thompson asserting that the way in which BBC presented its case was unclear, asked the wrong questions and made it very difficult for people to submit responses.
Announcing the numbers, Group Chairman and Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland said “We have been informed that the BBC received 8,000 responses to their consultations on Local Radio provision, far more than they were expecting, and despite the challenges the BBC placed in front of people, it is excellent news that rugby league fans dominated the responses to the consultations with over 1,000 people and organisations writing to support rugby league coverage on the BBC.
“This demonstrates the strength of feeling of supporters of rugby league and is welcome news to Members of the Group who first brought this to the attention of the sporting community.”
The Parliamentary Group has worked to make sure other sports were aware of the consequences of the consultations and has been working closely with the RFL who in turn have been liaising with other sports governing bodies.
“I want to offer the Group’s thanks to all those that took the time to respond to the consultations – we know it was not easy – and the RFL for their work on this issue, without which the matter would not have been so widely publicised” continued Mulholland.