The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Scottish Government

Devolution of broadcasting powers could stop "the trend of fewer programmes and diminished resources"


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

October 26, 2011 | 2 min read

Blair Jenkins, who previously headed the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, has told MSPs that devolution of broadcasting powers to Holyrood could stop "the trend of fewer programmes and diminished resources".

While giving evidence to Holyrood's Scotland Bill Committee, Jenkins said: "If one wishes to stop the trend of fewer programmes and diminished resources, then I think devolving at least some of the powers for broadcasting would be one way to do that."

He added: "The real problem is that the model of Scottish broadcasting, which is occasionally opting out of the BBC or ITV schedules, is a somewhat old-fashioned model and it produces limited returns.

"I think there are problems for Scottish broadcasters in opting out of the UK schedule.

"I think just as Scottish politicians have come to understand the West Lothian question, I think Scottish broadcasters have come to face what you might call the Downton Abbey question, which is how do you find decent slots for Scottish programmes without taking off air UK programmes which the audiences also want to see.

"I think that is a real limitation on the current broadcasting arrangement."

The Scottish Government has outlined key demands to enhance the Scotland Bill which legislates to devolve more powers to Holyrood, including increased powers over broadcasting to enable a new digital television network to be established in Scotland.

The government has also pressed Westminster to give it a say in future television licence-fee settlements, a potential source of funding for the new service.

Scottish Government

More from Scottish Government

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +