Thursday, February 23, 2017


The Scottish Culture Committee looking at Lord Hall's peace-offering to the licence-fee payers of Scotland has started its questioning.

Lord Hall said the programme spend on the new digital channel for Scotland would be 'comparable' with BBC4, that the £30m funding didn't include overheads, and that 60% of the output (between 7pm and midnight each night) would be new commissions.

Kenny, Tony and Donalda

Overall, he reckoned programme spend in Scotland would now move to 68% of the total licence fees paid in Scotland; that compares with 74% in Northern Ireland, and 95% in Wales.

Donalda said there would be "leadership" for the new channel, but wasn't ready to reveal her new management structure. Tony told the committee he wasn't prepared yet to reveal audience targets for the new channel, but wanted to see a growing figure, and an improvement in appreciation figures north of the border.

On BBC Alba, Donalda said, on top of the £1.2m going directly to the channel, she hoped the wider additional funding for Scotland would help support three extra hours a week of output for viewers, at BBC-generated total of 7.2.

[I don't mean to be difficult about the BBC4 numbers, but this year the BBC Trust licence for BBC4 puts the 'service budget' at £48.7m.

The BBC Annual Report for 2015/16 gives these figures for BBC4.
Content spend                            £44.2m
Distribution                                 £4.1m
Content and distribution support £7.7m
General support                           £3.8m
Total                                           £59.8m]

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