Sunday, January 10, 2016

Under water

The BBC has handed its homework in, ahead of Tuesday's session in front of the Education and Culture Committee of the Scottish Parliament. It doesn't accept the claim from Scottish indie Matchlight, that network production in Scotland is largely 'lift and shift', simply invoiced from sub-offices of London-based production companies.

The BBC's written submission points out that Ofcom has rules on what counts as Scottish-produced content, and says that, of £82.3m spent on network tv, radio and online output in Scotland, £78.1m is "verified" as proper pure dead brilliant by the watchdog. £108.2m is spent on programming specifically for Scotland, and the BBC says, that when you add a share of central support costs and distribution, annual spend north of the border totals well over £200m.

However, fans of hypothecation will note that the BBC receives £323m in licence-fees from Scottish addresses, and there's not much in the BBC's submission that hints at closing that gap. That doesn't mean Lord Hall won't come along with a few goodies. Perhaps a return for Hans and Lotte Hass or Jacques Cousteau-style shows, made around the coast of Scotland. After all, committee convenor and former fireman Stewart Maxwell MSP is a keen Scuba diver, and fan of the Sea Fan....


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