Scotland mostly consists of UK-wide broadcasts, with
variations at different times which are specific to Scotland. Scotland
has no major television channel of its own and most people receive
channels that are broadcast to the
United Kingdom as a whole,
including five terrestrial channels and various digital channels.
1 Terrestrial channels
1.2 ITV in Scotland
2 News Programming
Scottish Gaelic Television
4 The Scottish Six
5 Scottish television personalities
7 See also
Scotland receive four or five public terrestrial television
stations. All of these are regional variants/opt-outs upon British
television channels. In addition to the three Scottish stations, the
country also receives two UK-wide channels, as well as a multitude of
European digital and satellite stations: Channel 4, and Channel 5,
whose broadcast coverage is more limited, and in very remote areas
difficult or impossible to receive.
Scotland has its own
Scotland and BBC
Two Scotland, which commenced broadcasting on 14 March 1952 and 20
April 1964 respectively. Much of the output of
Television, such as news and current affairs programmes, and the
Glasgow-based soap opera, River City, are intended for broadcast
within Scotland, whilst others, such as drama and comedy programmes,
aim at audiences throughout the UK and further afield. Sports coverage
also differs, reflecting the fact that the country has its own
football and rugby union leagues and national teams, separate from
those of the other
United Kingdom constituent nations and other
sporting interests unique to Scotland, such as shinty or curling.
Viewers on the Freeview HD platform within the
broadcasting area can now re-opt into the
BBC network when Scotland
opts out via
BBC One HD and
BBC Two HD channels, extending choice to
Scottish viewers which was only previously an option for satellite and
ITV in Scotland
Three ITV stations (Border, STV Central and STV North) also broadcast
in Scotland. In the early 1960s,
Grampian Television was created to
provide commercial television services serving the Highlands and
Islands, but in 1997 it was bought by STV Group plc, owners of the
longer established Scottish Television. In May 2006, both channels
were re-branded "STV" with newsrooms in
to provide separate news services for their respective regions. Seven
months later, STV launched news opt-outs for the East of Central
Scotland (broadcast from Edinburgh) and
Tayside & North East Fife
(broadcast from Dundee).
ITV Border has had a more complex position,
as it also has to serve neighbouring areas across the border in
England. Most of the independent television output equates to that
transmitted in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the exception
of news and current affairs, sport, cultural and Scottish Gaelic
The available ITV station depends on region:
STV Central (formerly Scottish Television) which is based in Glasgow
and covers the
Central Belt of Scotland. It is owned and operated by
STV Group plc, a company which evolved from the station, and since
became solely interested in its core TV business once again. On
weekdays, the station provides two separate editions of its regional
STV News at Six for the West and East of the region.
STV North (formerly Grampian Television) which is based in Aberdeen,
and covers Tayside, the North East and Highlands and Islands. It is
also owned & operated by STV Group plc, and carries the same
regional programming as shown on STV Central but produces a separate
regional news service, including opt outs for
Tayside and North East
ITV Border, which covers both the Scottish and English borderlands.It
is owned and operated by ITV plc. In February 2009, the station began
broadcasting pan-regional news bulletins with
ITV Tyne Tees
ITV Tyne Tees from
Gateshead with dedicated opt-out for the Border region broadcast on
weekday evenings. Since 2013, there is a separate bulletin for the
Border region, either broadcast live, or pre-recorded shortly before
broadcast, and continues to come from Gateshead.
There have been claims that
British television news (which is the main
source of news on Scottish Television) does not cater to Scottish
needs: Dr Douglas MacMillan, of the University of
Aberdeen has found
that Scottish news was "peripheral" compared with English stories. His
six-month study into the
BBC showed 34% of all news focused on England
while just 2% was dedicated to Scotland, despite having 10% of the
Scottish Gaelic Television
See also: Gaelic broadcasting in Scotland
TeleG became the first channel to broadcast only
Gaelic-language programmes. It aired for an hour everyday and showed
archive shows. It ceased to transmit in 2011. In 2008,
BBC Alba began
broadcasting with its slogan being "A new channel for Scotland". It is
a joint venture with MG Alba, which produces many programs for the
BBC Alba shows programmes of different genres, including
general entertainment, news, documentaries, children's programmes,
dramas, sport and films.
As well as these, the following channels also broadcast some Gaelic
BBC One Scotland,
Scotland and STV.
The Scottish Six
One of the longest running controversies regarding news broadcasting
Scotland has been over proposals for an early evening, weekday BBC
television news programme, containing international, UK and Scottish
items, produced and edited in Scotland. This proposed show is referred
to as the Scottish Six.
In November 1998 Professor Lindsay Paterson resigned from the BBC's
broadcasting council for
Scotland in protest, after it emerged that
BBC was hostile to allowing
Scotland its own news programme at
In May 2006 Mark Thompson, the Director-General of the BBC, ruled out
any prospect of a Scottish Six news bulletin to replace that produced
STV announced similar plans in September 2009 to launch an hour-long
STV News at Six, incorporating Scottish, national and
international news with local ten-minute opt-outs for six
sub-regions. The pan-regional programme would have replaced the two
separate programmes for northern and central Scotland, however the
plans were later dropped in favour of a retained North news service
and the launch of two separate news services for the West and East of
Central Scotland. A late night current affairs programme, Scotland
Tonight, was launched in October 2011.
In February 2017, the
BBC announced plans for a dedicated part-time
television channel to serve Scotland, replacing the current regional
BBC Two; as part of these plans, it was announced that the
proposed service would feature an hour-long news and public affairs
programme broadcast and produced out of Scotland, echoing the Scottish
Six proposals. The Commons Scottish Affairs Committee is due to
examine this in spring 2017.
Scottish television personalities
^ Money, Rachelle (16 October 2005). "
BBC evening news guilty of
English 'bias' Research reignites calls". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 1
^ Garside, Juliette (3 November 2002). "Dyke: I'll not let Labour
politicians block Scottish Six". Sunday Herald. Archived from the
original on 3 November 2002. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
BBC News and the Scottish Six: Scottish Consumers' Views on Value
for Money and the Licence Fee" (PDF). Scottish Consumer Council. March
2004. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
^ "Survey supports
BBC Scottish Six".
BBC News. 9 March 2004.
Retrieved 27 September 2006.
^ Robins, Jane (24 November 1998). "Media: Why no news is bad news for
Scotland". The Independent. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
^ Sheppard, Fergus (29 June 2006). "'Scottish Six' bulletin ruled out
BBC chief". The Scotsman. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
^ STV to launch Scottish news at six o'clock show, Daily Record, 18
^ "New TV channel for
BBC in Scotland".
BBC News. Retrieved 23
BBC to launch Scottish TV channel with hour-long news programme".
The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
^ Settle, Michael (6 April 2017). "MPs order probe into
BBC block on
Scottish Six news bulletin". The Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
Media in Scotland
Television in Scotland
BBC One Scotland
BBC Two Scotland
BBC Gàidhlig (Dept.)
Channel Six Dundee
Television in Europe
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