BBC DG outlines Scotland plans

BBC Director General Tony Hall has indicated that BBC Scotland will have greater control over its budgets and an improved online presence, with a review of news provision in Scotland to come this year.

The review of news provision could pave the way for a "Scottish Six" BBC News bulletin, something that campaigners in Scotland have been wanting for decades.

Speaking at Holyrood's Culture Committee, currently taking evidence on the BBC's charter renewal, Lord Hall said that a full report would appear in the spring, when the BBC will be outlining its future overall plans for News. Last week, BBC News boss James Harding warned the BBC couldn't afford to do everything, so any additional coverage for Scotland could be linked to cuts elsewhere.

Lord Hall also said the Director of BBC Scotland would have more power over how money is spent in Scotland. He said:
"I want the director for Scotland to have more power to decide the services that the people of Scotland want for Scotland, I also want the director for Scotland to have a powerful voice in determining what the BBC does as a whole."
Changes to BBC online services in Scotland will include a dedicated iPlayer page for Scotland, and changes to the BBC News and Sport websites for users in Scotland.

Some media outlets have interpreted Lord Hall's comments as meaning there will be a new online TV channel for Scotland, but some analysts suggest it's likely to be no more than a BBC Scotland branded area of the iPlayer bringing together BBC Scotland's content.

Scottish Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop, who also appeared before the committee said about dropped proposals for additional linear TV and radio outlets said:
"It's disappointing that that did not see the light of day in terms of the proposition put forward by the BBC when they went into the charter renewal process."

Other changes to BBC Scotland's services
Changes taking place in other parts of the BBC will have an impact on the BBC's service provision in Scotland.
  • BBC Scotland together with MG Alba runs Gaelic channel BBC Alba. Currently this channel timeshares with some BBC Radio stations in Scotland on Freeview, due to capacity issues. It could benefit from the abandoned plans for BBC One+1 (The BBC had originally indicated that later this decade BBC One+1 would have moved to Freeview capacity on the main BBC multiplex after initially launching alongside HD services - that space, when it becomes available, could be used to broadcast BBC Alba for longer instead and allow all BBC Radio stations to run 24/7 on Freeview). 
  • BBC Two Scotland is due to go HD during the first few years of the new BBC charter period, which starts in 2017, as part of a scheme to get the remaining variants of BBC One and BBC Two in HD.

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  1. But Scotland has their own news at 6:30. Just like the rest of UK. This shows they are not interested in any other part of there UK again. The BBC need to cut spending. Not waste money.


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