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Scottish government calls for an end to pooling of BBC license fee cash

The Scottish government has called on the BBC to retain all TV license fee money raised in Scotland north of the border as it seeks to further differentiate from the rest of the UK.

The Times cites BBC sources as having been approached by the SNP government demanding that all the cash be sent straight to BBC Scotland instead of London, sparking a further clash between the broadcaster and first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s government.

People in Scotland spend an average of nine hours a week watching television, higher than the UK average, with hit shows such as Strictly Come Dancing drawing a 46 per cent audience share north of the border.

In fact just 12 per cent of programming viewed can be classed as Scottish with UK-wide content drawing the lion’s share of viewers; including Countryfile with 600,000 viewers whilst EastEnders, Antiques Roadshow and The Apprentice each draw 500,000.

This request drew short shrift from the BBC however with an unnamed source telling The Times: “They want the Scottish licence fee only to fund projects for Scotland while at the same time not expecting to pay for the infrastructure of the BBC or all the network content that goes everywhere. It costs a lot to produce BBC content and the Scots are huge consumers of it.”

In 2014 £335m of £3.74bn in license fees were raised in Scotland, of which £190m was reinvested in BBC Scotland.

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