Is this against the BBC charter?

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From the Guardian. It seems the BBC is now actively assisting in promoting RU, outside of merely broadcasting trailers and so on:


BBC fears the prospect of empty seats

BBC attempts to drum up crowd for final

Duncan Mackay
Saturday March 20, 2004
The Guardian

The BBC is concerned that Twickenham could be embarrassingly empty for rugby union's Powergen Cup final between Sale and Newcastle next month.
Last weekend's semi-finals attracted an aggregate crowd of less than 12,000 and with no possibility of moving the final to a northern venue closer to the modest supporter base of the two finalists, BBC Sport this week took the unusual step of circulating its regional offices to urge them to drum up some interest.

"The Rugby Football Union and BBC Sport are understandably concerned that Twickenham might not be jam-packed for the game," read the memo, pointing out that "plenty of tickets" would be available to run as competitions.


Firsty, why exactly are the BBC concerned that Twickers won't be full? Will they be concerned that many other sporting stadia won't be full this or next weekend? I didn't think the BBC was supposed to provide advertising. I thought that was the point. Here, they're even doing it for free!

I have no objections to the BBC promoting their own coverage. That's fine. I do object to them advertising to increase ticket sales for the benefit of the RFU, or any other completely seperate organisation. That is surely against the BBC charter. I seem to remember last year the Rugby Football League were asked to remove an advertisment painted onto the pitch at The McAlpine Stadium giving the telephone number of the ticket hotline for the Challenge Cup Final so quite how the BBC can promote Rugby Union I dont know.

Can we expect the BBC to run free adverts for Waterstones in order to "increase the interest in books" ahead of their coverage of the Booker prize?

What's going on?

Secondly, I thought that RU was basking in the glory of the World Cup win. How come they haven't sold out one of their premier clubs games already?
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