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Low key launch for new Scottish channel

New television channel "That’s TV Scotland" has launched in Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The channel has taken over the broadcast spectrum previously utilised by STV2 until the end of June 2018.

In line with other That's TV channels in England and Wales, schedules are dominated by archive movies and plays during the day, followed by a news programme, which is broadcast on a loop from 6pm.

That's TV is using the five Scottish local TV licences it acquired from STV following STV's decision to exit the local TV business. Unlike STV2, That’s TV Scotland is not available on satellite.

Freeview and YouView viewers in the areas covered by the licences can find That's TV Scotland on channel 8. Following recent Freeview frequency changes, some viewers who used to receive STV2 on channel 8 but can't receive That's TV Scotland will need to retune.

The launch has gone largely unnoticed, with no publicity or any indication of the channel's plans to secure audiences in the five locations it serves and how, unlike STV2, it intends to make the service profitable. Tests were spotted by a516digital readers last week ahead of the channel starting regular broadcasts.

That's TV has been criticised for its poor output on its other local channels south of the border. It's also been accused of exploiting a scheme designed to provide extra financial assistance to new local TV channels, by producing the bare minimum of content in order to receive money from the BBC. The scheme closed to new entrants on 31st July 2017, but payments to qualifying stations will continue until three years after their launch, but no later than 31st July 2020. A Buzzfeed investigation uncovered allegations of exploitation of staff, with local channels relying on low skilled staff on zero hour contracts. That's TV has so far remained silent amidst calls to strip the broadcaster of its licences.