|It is important to recognise that party political and referendum broadcasts (PPRBs) stand somewhat apart from the broadcasters' wider election coverage. They are not exempt from the legal and regulatory framework with which all broadcast material must comply but the decision to broadcast them is different: they represent a mandated albeit decreasingly watchedform of programming to which the broadcasters are obliged to cede time in their schedules. The broadcasters licensed by Ofcom are set "minimum requirements
to follow in determining the length, frequency, allocation and/or scheduling of party political or referendum campaign broadcasts." Further, representatives of each of the broadcasters, including the BBC, who make airtime available to registered political parties and to designated organisations in election and referendum campaigns also meet from time to time with the Electoral Commission, under the auspices of the Broadcasters' Liaison Group (BLG), to share advice, ensure a consistent approach and to co-ordinate the criteria which each broadcaster applies in determining the amount of airtime to be made available to these broadcasters. Ultimately, the criteria which inform their judgements about how to achieve due impartiality with respect to PPRBs are similar to those which inform their editorial approach to achieving due impartiality in their coverage of political parties more generallytaking into account a range of factors including previous and current electoral support. However, the statutory footing and formal requirements placed on the broadcasters to cede time in their schedules with respect to PPRBs clearly means that these broadcasts stand somewhat apart from the wider election coverage which the broadcasters lay on during an election campaign, although ultimately they must comply with the wider legal and regulatory framework which applies to all content actually broadcast.