Speaking after he was unable to watch the GB/NI relay team competing in today's Athletics World Championship Finals, David McNarry said:OK, speaking pedantically and following the Gregory Campbell line of thinking, whilst the final was indeed held in another country, one of the teams involved was a N.Irish one...but, yes, I’ve no idea about the technical side of things, was the blocking of the signal simply and only because the two events couldn’t be shown simultaneously?
"The 'Radio Times' schedules for Sunday indicate a choice for viewers at 3pm on BBC2. Those who want to watch the Croke vs Tyrone semi-final at Croke Park can tune using Analogue. While those who want to watch the Athletics World Championships can tune in using Digital.
"I don't have Sky, but I am able to activate a Digital service on my television. But when I tried to do so on Sunday afternoon the available menu would not let me tune into the World Championships.
"I 'phoned BBC NI and was told that the engineers had blocked the signal. But blocking a signal is not a choice for engineers alone: the decision must have been taken further up the line.
"It strikes me that this is just another example of the BBC's preference for moving NI viewers towards a more Irish agenda. The World Championships' Finals, which have been running all week, are sacrificed for a GAA semi-final being held in another country!
The BBC should deliver an explanation, whatever the answer, to that one.
"What I want to know is---is BBC NI being used politically to groom and condition local viewers towards a more Irish agenda?"I think he actually meant Irish nationalist agenda there...anyway, BBC NI, like all other parts of the BBC network (and actually probably every other news-gathering and media service in the world) contains journalists and editors with political, cultural and sporting prejudices which determine how stories are presented or, as looks possible in this case, which events are actually broadcast.
That’s not a problem with other media networks' or journalist’s output; with them we can decide whether or not to expose ourselves to that bias/ prejudice and if necessary pay for the priviledge (one very good reason, I suspect, that the Irish News has kept Feeny off their Subscription Only package). With the BBC not so simple.
Whilst abroad, I’ve often relied on the World Service to keep me up to date and entertained; with the exception of the Brothers Abu, Green and Lawrenson, I enjoy Radio 5’s sport coverage; Radio 4 also has its moments. The BBC informs me 2 pounds per month of my license fee goes towards that radio coverage, fair enough. I’m even happier to raise up the 61 pence I contribute towards their online coverage to a similar amount. So, a total 48 pounds, let’s call it a round 50 quid, a year- more than happy to pay.
Instead, I pay almost three times that amount for other parts of the network that quite frankly I don’t value; honestly I can live without Nolan and the RentaUlsterOutrage crew, Mr Supercillious GnT (Dunseath), Radios 1,2 and 3. If you like watching your GAA sports, relay races, cricket, greyhound racing, tiddly-winks, 12th of Julys... etc etc, great, but why should I be subsidising your TV sporting and cultural viewing pleasure?
That surely would be a better free-market argument for an elected representative of the (ahem!) Conservatives and Unionists to be making? If we don't like BBC NI Sport's output, we shouldn't have to pay for it, simple as that.