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BBC Scotland TV: your guide to the channel


Television in Scotland is changing with the launch of the BBC's first standalone channel for Scotland.

With a £32m annual budget, the new service brings to an end the practice of substituting UK wide programmes on BBC Two in favour of a dedicated channel for Scotland from Scotland.

Here's your essential guide to the new channel, whether you're in Scotland, or want to watch south of the border:


When does the channel launch?
BBC Scotland launches at 7pm on Sunday 24th February 2019.

It will be available across the UK on all platforms except Freeview and YouView, which is Scotland only.

Where can I watch BBC Scotland?
IN SCOTLAND
The channel is available on Freeview channel 9 SD and 115 HD.  Viewers may need to retune. The Freeview HD service is only available between 19:00 and 00:00.

It's also available in HD as default on
▶ Freesat channel 106,
▶ Sky channel 115,
▶ Virgin Media 108.
▶ BT, TalkTalk, Plusnet and EE TV viewers can watch on channel 9 in SD and 115 in HD (19:00-00:00).


IN THE REST OF THE UK
With the exception of viewers in northern Cumbria and parts of the Northern Irish coastline, reception of BBC Scotland on Freeview and YouView is not possible, but it is available online via the BBC iPlayer, as well as in HD on:
▶ Freesat channel 108
▶ Sky channel 457
▶ Virgin Media 162.


Free-to-air satellite manual tuning details - :
HD:
Satellite:    Astra 2G 
Frequency:    11023
Polarisation: Horizontal 
Symbol Rate:  23000
FEC:          3/4
Mode:         DVB-S2 8PSK 
Service ID:   8924

SD:
Satellite:    Astra 2E
Frequency:    10802
Polarisation: Horizontal 
Symbol Rate:  22000
FEC:          2/3
Mode:         DVB-S QPSK 
Service ID:   6420 


What's on the channel?
Between 19:00 and 00:00, the channel will offer a unique schedule of drama, comedy, arts, news and current affairs programming.

Last year, the BBC produced a framework for the channel's schedule:
19:00 Quiz, lifestyle features and repeats
20:00 Pre-watershed documentaries, factual programming
21:00 The Nine (News)
22:00 Drama, factual, comedy, acquisitions
23:00-00:00 Content aimed at younger audiences

On Friday, there will be a regular slot for coverage of the Scottish Championship, as part of a new broadcast deal between the SPFA and BBC covering the current and next football seasons.

Other highlights include four part drama Guilt, starring Mark Bonnar (Shetland, Line Of Duty, Catastrophe) and Jamie Sives (Game Of Thrones, The Victim, In The Dark) as two brothers whose lives are thrown into disarray after they accidentally run over and kill an old man while driving home from a wedding.

In arts, Emeli Sandé’s Street Symphony sees the multi-award winning singer-songwriter travel across Scotland to find the nation’s finest untapped musical talent and orchestrate a concert quite unlike any other.

Cult comedy Still Game will also premiere on the channel - starting 21:00 on launch night, 24th February.

New news programme The Nine will provide Scottish, UK and international news, all in one bulletin starting at 21:00 on Monday 25th February. The hour-long programme will be anchored by Rebecca Curran, Martin Geissler, Laura Miller and John Beattie. Rebecca and Martin will co-present Monday-Thursday while Laura and John will present the news hour each Friday on the new BBC Scotland television channel.


How will the channel be different from other BBC TV channels?
It will look different, with the BBC aiming for a more informal, softer feel to their main weeknightly news bulletin. BBC Scotland boss Donalda McKinnon said it would be "quite distinctive to anything we’re offering across the BBC."

It will also sound different, following the recruitment of three new continuity announcers. Former Capital Scotland Breakfast presenter Jennie Cook joins student Dominic Main and George Taylor, who works in marketing for The Times, as the new voices viewers will hear announcing programmes on the channel. Read more...


What's happening with BBC Two Scotland programmes?
BBC Two Scotland has now been discontinued. It came to an end just before midnight on the 17th February. BBC Two in Scotland now carries the same schedule as in England.

As reported in November 2017, the BBC will simulcast BBC Two programmes on the new Scotland channel between 12:00 and 19:00, containing former BBC Two Scotland daytime programmes including Politics Scotland. There will also be extended sports coverage on the new BBC Scotland channel wherever in the past BBC Two Scotland would have shown it, beginning with live indoor athletics on Friday 1st March at 18:30.

During events such as Wimbledon, when live coverage may clash with the normal scheduling of Reporting Scotland on BBC One Scotland, the news may move to the BBC Scotland channel, allowing the tennis to continue on BBC One, according to the BBC's proposals for the channel, published back in 2017.


What have others said about the new channel?
Rival broadcaster STV has not welcomed the new channel. It has raised a number if concerns about the new service as well as complained that the new channel was "poaching" its staff.

The Scottish Government says it expects the channel to "improve representation, reflect contemporary Scotland, and offer opportunities for innovation and development to producers and other creative people in Scotland."

The Scottish Daily Mail voiced fears that the expansion of BBC Scotland's website would undermine commercial publishers.


How will BBC Alba be affected?
Gaelic language BBC Alba sets to gain an extended weekend news service as a result of the BBC's investment in Scotland. It's also hoped co-commissioning of content for Alba and elsewhere on the BBC will also benefit the channel.  However, MG Alba, a partner in BBC Alba has voiced concerns to Ofcom, saying: "The new BBC Scotland channel will undoubtedly have an impact on BBC Alba. It will target broadly
the same viewers as BBC Alba with a content budget double that of BBC Alba and, as announced recently by the BBC, with carriage in High Definition (HD). This is not a level playing field."