Advocate of new Scottish TV channel welcomes launch of new Gaelic one

THE imminent launch of a digital TV channel dedicated to Gaelic language programming is not being considered a threat to hopes of a second channel – supported by online activity – devoted to high-quality Scottish programming.

With less than a fortnight to go before the launch of BBC ALBA – a partnership between the BBC and the publicly-funded MG ALBA, the former Gaelic Media Service, set up to promote Gaelic language broadcasting – an independent investigation into Scottish broadcasting was yesterday announcing its key recommendation is the creation of a Scottish Network, producing high-quality Scottish programming.

Blair Jenkins – chair of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission – did not see the creation of one being to the detriment of another, in terms of political will or funding.

Blair said he welcomed the new Gaelic language channel – which begins broadcasting on the 19th – and wished it “every success”.

But he felt it would not scupper plans for a Scottish Network for two reasons: 1. the BBC would be supplying its news, and a Scottish Network would be broadcasting its own, independent news output; and 2., that the Scottish Network ambition is for “English language plurality” in the UK television industry.