Television Broadcasting in Scotland – The Opportunity For Policy and Content Change Exists Now – The Scottish Government Should Be Bold and Seize the Day – No More Time For Faint Hearts







BBC- Alba (Gaelic name for Scotland)


Responsibility for the financial support of the public television broadcasting service BBC-Alba is remitted to the BBC and Scottish government in 2015.

Annual operational running costs are approximately £25m.

The BBC provides about £10m in the form of broadcasting , technical support and some programming.

The Scottish government allocates around £15m to the service covering the cost of programming.






Management and Control

The 2015 Scotland Bill devolved control of Scotland’s Gaelic television channel to the Scottish government together with financial responsibility and governance.

Appointments to the governing board, (responsible for evolving policy) are remitted to the Scottish government.

The funding mechanism requires an allocation of positions on the governing board to BBC management representatives.

It is anticipated that the Scottish government will seek parity of funding with the BBC forming part of recommendations for change contained in the recently published BBC comprehensive Spending Review and Charter Renewal, which indicated a significant negative funding imbalance in terms of financial expenditure by the BBC within and in support of its Scottish subscribers who are compulsorly required to purchase an annual licence from the BBC, currently £147.

Annual income to the BBC from Scottish subscribers is approximately £250m.

Expenditure by the BBC, in Scotland, including BBC Alba costs rarely exceed £90m.






Present Programming

The channel broadcasts for 7 hours daily (1700-2400).

Programming content is designed to serve Gaelic speakers and those who wish to learn the native language of Scotland.

It provides many hours of Scottish sport including live soccer, rugby, shinty etc.

Most of the adult programming is subtitled in English and there are plans to provide dual sound with live events.

The channel is watched by about 637,000 adults over the age of 16 in Scotland each week which is remarkable when considered against the Gaelic speakers in Scotland who number about 57,000.






Future Programming
An increase in funding by the BBC and perhaps the Scottish government, would provide opportunity to expand broadcasting hours and content, mirroring mainstream television channels.

Programming could be widened to include other dialogues of Scotland eg. Scotch, Doric and English.






The opportunity exists now, through a Scottish government appointed, BBC-Alba governing board to guide the content of Scottish television broadcasting circumventing BBC Scotland and other right-wing media channels, which have abjectly failed the people of Scotland through their preference to implement the policies of the Westminster government and their foreign owners.

The channel could be renamed Alba since the BBC would be a minority partner.