Select Committee on BBC Charter Review Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 280 - 281)


Mr Roger Mosey and Mr Dominic Coles

  Q280  Baroness Howe of Idlicote: Taking your answer to my question about minority sport, I thought there was a degree of evasion about the answers. Am I right in thinking that what you define as a sport is what becomes a sport and it may be based on growth in something or because you are hearing it is likely to be popular. Your answer gave me the impression that you were not prepared to say that any one form of sedentary sport enjoyed increasingly by a number of people was or was not sport.

  Mr Mosey: I am sorry if I gave that impression. We have some difficulties with the term "minority sports" anyway in that technically every sport is watched by a minority in the UK so therefore anything, apart obviously from the World Cup final, is a minority sport. I recognise chess is a particular anomaly but the important thing is that the BBC supports and is committed to a wide range of activities which would include chess.

  Q281  Baroness Howe of Idlicote: But not bridge?

  Mr Coles: I am actively discussing with our Russian colleagues setting up a chess league between the UK and Russia which we would then broadcast, if not on our terrestrial channels, at least on our interactive and broadband. Our Russian partners are very keen on exploring this.

  Baroness Howe of Idlicote: If chess, why not bridge?

  Lord Peston: Bridge is not a sport.

  Chairman: Thank you very much for coming. It was a very interesting and valuable first session on sport. Perhaps we could come back to you if we have further questions.

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