STV chief promises ‘strong 2010′ after admitting ‘not got everything right’

ONE of the most senior figures at STV has admitted that, as the broadcaster has increasingly opted-out of screening ITV network programmes, there have been sometimes errors of judgment.

Bobby Hain – director of broadcast services and regulatory affairs at STV – was this evening speaking at an event hosted by the Scottish branch of the Royal Television Society.

While promising a strong schedule for next year, he also said: “We’re the first to admit, not everything we’ve done we’ve done right.”

He had been invited to speak specifically about STV’s opting out of the likes of The Bill; car-crash drama, Collision; Doc Martin; a new dramatisation of Wuthering Heights and new episodes of the Miss Marple crime series.

He told the 100-strong audience in Glasgow that STV was entitled to opt out of as much networked programming as it wished, so long as it had broadcast a minimum annual target of just over 4,500 hours of ITV content.

Relations are such between STV and ITV that each has served a legal action against the other.

STV has mostly opted out of the 9pm Thursday slot and at the same time on a Sunday, the latter often for a movie.

In an interview later with allmediascotland, he said:”The Sunday evening schedule actually hasn’t worked particularly well for us, we are the first to admit that. It’s our schedule, it is our long-term strategy, we are in the early stages, [and] we are committed to getting it right.

“The work we’re doing on 2010 I think absolutely builds on the experience of 2009. You’ll see a stronger, more diverse, more engaging, higher quality schedule next year.”

PS. The BBC reports Hain’s podcast interview, choosing, as its top line, Hain’s comments that he is less worried about Scots being able to watch ITV1 London on satellite or cable (and thus the network shows STV has opted out of screening) than he is is about all the other competitor TV channels potentially taking viewers away from STV.