The Media in Figures: TV spend in Scotland

BBC Scotland and STV together spent £52 million on what is described as ‘first-run, originate programme’ last year – down six per cent on the previous year.

And, says broadcasting regulators, Ofcom, the spend – excluding spending on Gaelic-language programming – was down by 27 per cent over five years.

According to Ofcom’s latest annual Communications Market Report: Scotland, spend was £70 million during 2007. For the other years, it read: 2008 – £57 million; 2009 – £57 million; 2010 – £56 million; and 2011 – £55 million.

Again excluding Gaelic-language programming, Ofcom found that TV spend on news had fallen in Scotland last year by 13 per cent on the previous year, and by 32 per cent over five years. For the UK as a whole, spend on news fell by three per cent between 2011 and 2012 and by 22 per cent between 2007 and 2012.

But spend on current affairs in Scotland bucked a UK-wide trend, rising by six per cent over five years, while the corresponding UK figure was down 28 per cent.

And actually, while spend on non-news/non-current affairs output (again excluding Gaelic-language) in Scotland was down over five years (by 27 per cent), it was a much less dramatic fall than elsewhere: UK (43 per cent), England (86 per cent), Northern Ireland (41 per cent) and Wales (40 per cent).

To tell the ‘spend story’ as a per head figure, spending per person in Scotland (again excluding Gaelic-language) was £10.01 last year, down eight per cent on the previous year. That £10.01 comprised £1.04 on current affairs, £2.53 on news and £6.44 on non-news/non-current affairs output.

Source: Communications Market Report: Scotland, 2013, Ofcom, published August 1 2013.