As part of its push to invest more in regional content across the UK, the BBC is launching a TV channel geared specifically toward Scottish audiences. The pubcaster will invest an additional £19M ($23.7M) into BBC Scotland, which will aim to offer up more Scottish content on screen.
BBC also is putting another £1.2M ($1.5M) into BBC Alba, the nation’s Scottish Gaelic-language channel. This comes on top of the broadcaster’s current pledge to invest an extra £20M ($25M) per year on Scottish programming until March 2019. Together with this existing funding, the channel will have an initial budget of more than £30M ($37.4M).
Set to launch in autumn 2018, BBC Scotland will be broadcast every evening in the region from 7 PM. It will air a range of programming including a 9 PM hourlong newscast (15 minutes at 7 PM on weekends) edited and presented from Scotland, creating about 80 new journalist posts at the channel.
The announcement comes shortly after the BBC said it would invest an additional £8.5M ($10.6M) per year into production in Wales. Details on plans for Northern Ireland are expected to be announced soon.
“I said at the beginning of the year that the BBC needed to be more creative and distinctive,” said BBC Director-General Tony Hall. “The BBC is Britain’s broadcaster but we also need to do more for each nation just as we are doing more for Britain globally.
“We know that viewers in Scotland love BBC television but we also know that they want us to better reflect their lives and better reflect modern Scotland. It is vital that we get this right. The best way of achieving that is a dedicated channel for Scotland. It’s a channel that will be bold, creative and ambitious, with a brand-new Scotland-edited international news program at its heart.”