BBC ordered by Ofcom to spend the same on Scots viewers as it does on those in the rest of the UK


In 2016 the BBC raised £320 million in Scotland but spent only 54.65% of this on Scottish programming. In sharp contrast, they spent 95% of the £177 million they raised in Wales on Welsh programming and in Northern Ireland they spent 74% of the £99 million they raised there, on programming there.

I haven’t seen the details nor a precise statement of what ‘spending on’ means so there may well be get-out clauses for them to still refrain from spending much more on programming in Scotland. They can say, for example, that they’ve spent the money on ‘distribution.’

There’s a wee anomaly in the N Ireland figures. Scotland’s £5.3 million people paid £320 million in licence fees or roughly £60 per head of population. Yet N Ireland’s 1.8 million only paid £99 million or £55 per head of population. That’s £9 million less that you would expect and equates, at £145 per licence, to 62 000 people or, say, 30 000 households. Are there no go areas there for the detector vans too?


10 thoughts on “BBC ordered by Ofcom to spend the same on Scots viewers as it does on those in the rest of the UK

  1. Bugger (the Panda) October 13, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    BBC QTime is classified as a Scottish output, albeit produced by an outside company.

    Maybe we just pay for it?

    There are no “detector” vans, Big lie.

    As this door chapping is outsourced, who would do that job in NI on a zero hours contract?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. kulaprabha October 13, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    QT is Scottish?!! Dearie me.

    Don’t you have to use license fee per household though? In which case a quick google for number of households produces the following:

    Scotland : £320,000,000 / 2,400,000 households (Dec2016) = £133 per hhold

    NI: £99,000,000 / 776,526 households (Apr2016) = £128 per hhold


      • gavin October 13, 2017 / 4:47 pm

        Colonel Ruthie says “Man Up” John.
        Its NO SURRENDER!


  3. gavin October 13, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    We should expect a double dose of Neil Oliver. A “Susan Calman Show”: “Jackie Bird at the Movies”: “Glen Campbell and Douglas Frazer’s Red Herring cookery class”:”Georgio Ffoulks stars in–Don’t look back in Ermine” and so on.
    Things wont change.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ludo Thierry October 13, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    Hi John – The Allstars are surpassing themselves with these brilliant posts. Fabulous stuff. I reckon the beeb commissioning dept will be offering Gavin a job pronto with his superb suggestions for britnat prime-time shows.

    Kulaprahba’s calculations are borne out by no less an authority than the House of Commons Library which very recently produced a report (info below):

    • Estimated TV licence evasion rate was between 6.2% and 7.2% in 2015/16: The highest evasion rate (10%) was recorded in Scotland. The evasion rate in Northern Ireland stood at 9%. In England and Wales the evasion rate stood at 6%.

    So we might not be qualifying for major international tournaments in the gents’ footy these days – but, by God, we’re winning the beeb tax licence evasion stakes.

    There are a few other beeb licence tax metrics I came across that I hope are interesting.

    Search warrants (info from wicki): Information provided by the Scottish Court Service suggests that TV Licensing search warrant applications in Scotland are virtually non-existent. In their response to a FOI request the Scottish Court Service confirmed that no search warrant applications were made to courts in Scotland’s two largest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, in the three-and-a-half years between 1 January 2011 and 21 July 2014.

    Court action (info from wicki): In 2014, 204,018 people were prosecuted or fined for TV licence offences: 185,580 in England and Wales, (173,044 in England and 12,536 in Wales), 4,905 people in Northern Ireland and 15 in the Isle of Man. In Scotland, there were 13,486 cases disposed of via an out of court fine and 32 prosecuted via the courts in 2013-2014

    ‘Fines’ (info from wicki):The average fine is £170 in England and Wales, £80 in Northern Ireland, £75 in Scotland (out-of-court disposal)

    (Instead of prosecution, in Scotland, TV licence fee evaders are usually asked by the Procurator Fiscal to pay a fiscal fine and a small number are simply given a warning. For example, in 2013-2014, just 10 cases reached the courts whereas 12,969 people were asked to pay a fiscal fine, no action was taken in 275 cases, and 174 people were sent a warning. In addition, 2 people were asked to pay compensation and 1 person was offered the chance to pay a combination of fiscal fine and compensation. In 2013-14, almost all of the fiscal fines (12,603 out of 12,969) were at the level 2 rate of £75)

    Impisonment (info from wicki): In England and Wales, 39 people were given an average of 20 days in 2014 (compared to 32 in 2013 and 51 in 2012). There were no custodial sentences imposed during the 5-year period 2009-10 to 2013-14 in Scotland.

    Before we get too impressed at all these metrics demonstrating Scotland to be following a much more enlightened path – let’s just remember who is having the last laugh here (info from Republic of Scotland website below):

    Page 55 of the BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17 contains a table showing how many people the BBC employs in different parts of the UK. I have summarised the results for London and Scotland below.

    Location % of UK Population % of UK PSB Staff (equivalent full time)
    London 13.3% 47%
    Scotland 8.3% 7%

    London’s population is only 60% greater that Scotland’s but the BBC employs 570% more Londoners that Scots.
    Also remember that most, if not all, of these London employees will be paid the London weighting subsidy which comes out of the BBC tax.

    Good to see La Resistance to the beeb tax is apparently alive and kicking here in Scotland (and that the Scottish legal system seems much less inclined to allow itself to be harnessed as an unpaid (but very costly to the Scottish exchequer) tax collector for the massively overpaid beeb propaganda-mongers).

    Cheers, Ludo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bugger (the Panda) October 13, 2017 / 7:13 pm


      well done Ludo


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