Wednesday, June 27, 2018

There's Scottish and Scottish

In its final approval for the launch of a new BBC channel for Scotland, OFCOM has revealed a difference of opinion with MG/BBC Alba, the Gaelic channel.

Ofcom's slide rules predict an audience share of 2.42% in Scotland for the new channel. The Alba management complained they would lose viewers - and "a loss to BBC Alba will be an absolute loss of public value in many respects, due to the unique role that the Gaelic television channel fulfils.  MG ALBA also argued that, although it was not reliant on commercial funding, the loss of audience to BBC Scotland could put at risk the amount of funding made available from the Scottish Government, which in turn would impact on the amount of content investment."

Ofcom noted BARB does not report viewing for BBC Alba, "therefore we have only estimated BBC Alba’s share in Scotland based on available data (c.0.9%).... we estimate that BBC Alba could lose about 2.3% of its viewing hours."

So, says Ofcom, Alba's potential loss of public value is moderate, and "an increased choice in content representing and portraying different aspects of Scotland, its communities and its people is likely to be beneficial for audiences."

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