BBC Annual Report: 'Step change' in quality and range of TV for audiences in Scotland

Date: 16.07.2013     Last updated: 23.09.2014 at 09.48

The BBC’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2012/13, published today, shows that this has been a strong year for BBC Scotland.

Reporting Scotland remains the most watched daily news programme in Scotland, and Radio Scotland maintained its reach to around a million listeners each week.  

It has been a year of outstanding factual and drama programmes made by BBC Scotland both for Scottish audiences and audiences across the UK, from Operation Iceberg to Shetland, which attracted over 12 million viewers across its two parts.

Mrs Brown’s Boys continued to prove a hit with audiences, reaching over 10 million people at Christmas and attracting high audience appreciation scores. 

BBC production in Scotland received a boost when primetime drama Waterloo Road – now in its eighth series – relocated to Greenock, and an important technological step was made when BBC One Scotland moved to HD. 

The Annual Report includes a review by Audience Council Scotland, the BBC Trust’s advisory body, which notes an improvement in the range and quality of locally-produced programmes in recent years.

However, one area of concern was that Scotland had the lowest percentage of all UK nations for the number of people who think the BBC is good at representing their lives in news and current affairs content.

For Gaelic language speakers, BBC ALBA continued to perform strongly, and Radio nan Gàidheal maintained its levels of listening and audience approval.

BBC Trustee for Scotland Bill Matthews said:

"This has been a difficult year for the BBC following last autumn’s revelations about Jimmy Savile, but I am pleased to see that BBC Scotland has performed well for audiences and there has been some outstanding content across a range of genres, with our Audience Council noting that there has been a step change in the quality and range of TV for audiences in Scotland.

"Our Audience Council has identified some areas that need further work.  They have stressed the need to address the ongoing issue of finding the right balance of Scottish news and news which only affects other parts of the UK, and have highlighted that the network television programming made in Scotland should be more reflective of Scotland. 

"Next year BBC Scotland will deliver comprehensive coverage of the Commonwealth Games and the independence referendum, bringing every development to audiences and making the most of the BBC’s online and digital capabilities."

The Audience Council praised the BBC for its London Olympics coverage, which it said set new standards for sports coverage, and for outstanding factual programming on BBC Two including Africa

The Audience Council has suggested that it would be useful for the BBC Executive to clarify a long-term strategy for the commissioning of opt-out programming.

Notes to Editors

The BBC Annual Report and Accounts for 2012/13 can be found here: BBC Annual Report

The Audience Council Scotland Review can be found here: Annual Review 2012/13