ITV restores Border Scotland service on Freeview for January launch

Technical changes took place today in the Border TV region on Freeview, as ITV plc paved the way to reinstate the facility to provide Border Scotland viewers with different programmes from January 2014.

The change primarily affects viewers in Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders. Viewers in Cumbria receiving the current England-based Border TV service do not need to retune.

According to Digital UK, "viewers in Scotland receiving their signal from the Caldbeck Scotland or Selkirk transmitter groups may need to retune their TV equipment today. Engineering work is expected to be completed by midday and anyone who finds they are missing ITV Border should retune after this".

There are no plans for a separate Border Scotland service at this stage on satellite or cable services.

ITV plc has been ordered by Ofcom to provide more local programming for the Border region, which in September resulted in the reinstatement of a completely separate regional news bulletin, which in recent years had been shared with the Tyne Tees region. To meet new licence requirements from 1st January 2014, ITV plc has to schedule 90 additional minutes of local news and current affairs per week for the Border Scotland region, while Border England viewers will stay with the main network output shown in the rest of England.

Viewers on the Scottish side of the border found they had little access to news relating to Scotland. Scotland has different political, legal, health and education systems meaning many stories from England were are relevant.

In the lead-up to the Scottish Referendum and to provide more general coverage of Scottish affairs, the reinstatement of the Border Scotland region means that ITV plc has the option to transmit special programmes on Scottish matters to Scottish viewers only, and not across the entire Border region, as has previously been the case.

Before it was originally shut down several years ago, the Border Scotland opt-out used to offer viewers in Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders access to STV's sports programming. There is no indication as yet if Border Scotland will take any STV news, politics or referendum programming.

Some viewers in the Carlisle and Dumfries and Galloway have the option of receiving both English and Scottish Border TV services from the Caldbeck transmitter site. Services can be manually tuned in using the table below:


ITV BORDER: MAIN TRANSMITTERS AND UHF CHANNEL NUMBERS

Caldbeck transmitter
Selkirk 
transmitter
Border Scotland
24
59
Border England
28
n/a




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