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Wings Over Scotland

The price of the BBC

Posted on March 03, 2014 by

We’ve been writing for quite a while now about the absurd-yet-deathless “Project Fear” scare story that an independent Scotland would lose access to BBC broadcasts (and thereby shows like Strictly Come Dancing, Match Of The Day, EastEnders, Doctor Who and, we dunno, Homes Under The Hammer or something), which was given another tired run-through last week by UK government culture secretary Maria Miller.


We’ve pointed out in some detail that it was complete nonsense, because the BBC is a commercial organisation which would actively seek to sell the rights to its output to Scotland, but what we haven’t been able to do previously was put a figure to the likely cost. Thanks to an alert reader, though, we can now fill in that gap.

The table above – click to enlarge – is an extract from the published 2012 accounts (page 92) of Irish national broadcaster RTE. In the middle row you can see how much RTE paid for “Acquired programmes – overseas”: 25,179,000 Euros, or £20.7 million at current exchange rates.

That’s a bit more than the totally arbitrary £14m figure we plucked out of the air for illustrative purposes last November, but it’s of the same sort of order of magnitude. (We also have to assume it’s not ALL for the BBC, and that RTE has presumably bought in programming from some other countries too.)

More importantly, though, we now have a solid number that we can put on the cost of a Scottish broadcasting service that still retains all of Scots’ favourite shows – because the RTE deal gives Irish viewers the entirety of BBC 1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4, not just individual programmes.


Ireland’s population of 4.6m (Republic alone) is very close to Scotland’s, so we have to assume Scotland would pay a roughly similar sum. Which leaves us with this:



In other words, an independent Scotland, if it charged the same licence fee as now, would be able to spend THREE TIMES as much on the SBC as the BBC will be doing on BBC Scotland if we vote No, and still have an extra £20m sitting in the coffers.

It could afford to pump transformational amounts of money into Scottish sport and culture in exchange for TV rights, while at the same time making them available to all rather than only satellite/cable subscribers. (Imagine Sportscene not being made for £2.50 any more.) It could reverse BBC Scotland’s budget and staff cuts. It could create and fund a Scottish film studio, revitalising the Scottish movie industry.

We could debate the possibilities all day. Do those things, or cut the licence fee, or divert the money elsewhere, or some combination of all? Everyone will have their own view. But the point is that we can now say with some certainty what the reality of an independent Scotland’s broadcasting finances would be.

The phrase “embarrassment of riches” seems the most accurate summary.

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  1. 20 07 15 23:42

    BBC – Bullshit Broadcasting Corporation | Kevan O'Reilly

203 to “The price of the BBC”

  1. heedtracker says:

    Dinnae forget BBC Radio either. Can it get any more boring or vote NO biased? Probably

  2. wingman 2020 says:

    Some countries pay for auto GAS to countries that quietly sponsor terrorists… Scotland pays over the odds for its own anti-Scotland propaganda.

  3. call me dave says:

    Just this article on its own is worth a few thousand votes.

    I knew the income from license fees from Scotland before and coupled with the information for RTE receiving the BBC service it’s a no brainer.

    I might even cough up the SBC license fee ????

  4. Busy-Bee says:

    Excellent news, and yet another scare story put to bed, confirming the information that a lot of people either thought or were at least hoping for. Well done Wings! 🙂

  5. bunter says:

    But an indy Scotland would be the only country in the world where BBC programmes don’t work on your telly don’t you know.

  6. bjsalba says:

    If the deterioration in the standard of BBC journalism continues, I’m not sure it is worth even £20,000,000.

  7. msean says:

    Not surprising that bias comes through,they stand to lose £300 million. I would show bias for that kind of money 🙂

  8. HandandShrimp says:

    There is an article on the Guardian about this by some TV bod. I wasn’t deperately impressed by his arguments. He also made reference that the transfer of studios and transmitters was “seizure of assets”…Crimean style no doubt.

    The BBC have over-inflated sense of self-importance. There will be no shortage of TV.

  9. Dinnatouch says:

    Long ago I used to be in favour of the licence fee because of the quality programming the BBC put out (ok, the odd David Attenborough programme).

    Now though, with cable, satellite, internet and on-demand subscription services, there is absolutely no excuse for enforcing a tax just to own a bluidy TV.

  10. Fred says:

    What crap. Its true Ireland buy in several BBC programs, but BBC is not universally available via Irelands terrestrial service.

    The only way to get all the BBC channels is to either purchase Sky or one of the cable services (such as UPC) or to purchase a Freesat box (and a larger size dish) which is not strictly legal.

    Here is a list of all the channels provided by Irelands equivalent of Freeview (since Analog signals are now turned off).

    Most Irish TV listings cover BBC/ITV/C4 because most Irish have Sky or Cable since Irelands own service sucks.

  11. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Msean; no, the BBC down south stands to lose £300 million. Their current Scottish employees, on the other hand, stand to gain rather a lot more when re-employed by the SBC and, probably, going back to the same desk with a new employer.

    BBC Scotland have no excuse for bias; they’re doing it because they’re told to. Though, to be fair, I’ve seen a bit more of an attempt lately to give unionists the same basic level of grilling that independence supporters (I hesitate to say nationalists because not everyone who supports independence is a nationalist) have been getting all along.

    It would be very amusing indeed to hear Alasdair Darling or that balloon Carmichael (he’s round and full of hot air, what else would you call him?) get treated the same way as any Scottish Government representative has been. Darling in particular does not react well to direct questioning. Neither does Carmichael but it’s not quite as marked with him.

  12. Cumoangerraff says:

    Hopefully a future Scottish Government would abolish the Licence Fee, and fund the SBC from general taxation. A TV licence may have made sense when a large proportion of the population didn’t have access to a TV, but those days are long gone. It would be hard to find a less cost effective way of funding anything than the current TV licence setup, with so much spent on snooping and enforcement.

    All we need is a fair way of determining the SBC budget, and then pay for it out of the general pot.

  13. Bell says:

    Since some of us may actually start paying the license fee again after Independence, the figure raised in Scotland could be potentially even higher than the figure quoted above.

  14. Taranaich says:

    I’m of the opinion the license fee should be abolished entirely, but I’d happily pay for a Scottish Broadcasting Service that actually reflected the people’s choices as opposed to the state-cowed propaganda service we currently have.

  15. Papadox says:

    Hope the management and employees at PQ read this very carefully. Because we will not accept the BBC propaganda and interference in our politics ever again. Truth, honesty, fairness for all.

  16. Smith says:

    If you factor up the cost to Ireland to a UK population of 63.2 million, it would cost the UK 284.5 million to “buy in the BBC” (based on population). Licence fees for last year were over 3.6 billion.

    Sounds like Scotland could generate some pretty special programming with the left over sum.

  17. keyser soze says:

    I have refused to pay a TV licence for the past few years. I plan to continue this practice until May2016 and beyond . I WILL NEVER PAY FOR A TV LICENCE AGAIN . This much I know.

  18. galamcennalath says:

    Also, with the extra investment suggested above SBC will be making output not just for domestic Scottish consumption, but for sale abroad … a la BBC. There is a big English speak world out there who might take a shine to some real programming from Scotland. A nice little earner, maybe.

  19. Lanarkist says:

    Another example of North to South subsidy being used to great effect to undermine our culture. Imagine the down stream business opportunities for the arts, sport, festivals, education, publishing etc.

    The savings would be great and the creation of hundreds of well remunerated cultural jobs would be immense.

    Any change to the current setup could only be good for Scotland. The creative brain drain could be reversed and we might even escape the football, murder and soap celebrity cul-de-sac that we are being diverted into at present.

    Any chance of a mass non-payment campaign to hasten this possibility. Maybe someone will work out an effective disruption strategy on BBC broadcasts before the vote.

    Now that would get my vote!

  20. TheGreatBaldo says:


    Once more it appears BT cannae control themselves regarding polls and reporting embargoes…..

  21. X_Sticks says:

    More on BBC bias from G.A.Ponsonby on NNS

    “Will the real No campaign please stand up”

    “If we take everything at face value then what the state broadcaster is effectively telling licence payers is that it is now in the interests of the Westminster Government to wreck post-independence negotiations.”

    Excellent, hard hitting article.

  22. G H Graham says:

    I spend months each year in the USA (dual citizen) and am gutted when I return to Scotland by the poor choice & even poorer content of broadcast radio.

    Despite Scotland contributing over £300 million in license fees each year, we have a singular, vacuous national radio station that spends much of its time patronising its viewers with British propaganda, interjected with its favourite news topics; fatal accident inquiries, murder trials & football.

    The televised content is just as bad; nauseating English slapstick comedy, “national” news that is consumed almost entirely with English only relevance, game shows for those who take pride in having a low IQ & this year especially, a compendium of jingoistic British themed propaganda about WW1.

    Let’s scrap the license fee altogether cos if a national broadcaster can copy RTE’s purchased foreign input for a lousy £21 million, the £180 million could be spent by we, the viewers on stuff we actually need.

  23. Grant Cruickshank says:

    “Dinnatouch says:
    3 March, 2014 at 1:07 pm
    Long ago I used to be in favour of the licence fee because of the quality programming the BBC put out (ok, the odd David Attenborough programme).

    Now though, with cable, satellite, internet and on-demand subscription services, there is absolutely no excuse for enforcing a tax just to own a bluidy TV.”

    ^THIS. Literally the ONLY thing I watch on Terrestrial TV now is Doctor Who. The TV tax chafes like shrunken budgie-smugglers.

  24. wee_monsieur says:

    But we already have THIS embarrassment of riches…

    • BBC Radio Scotland
    • BBC Radio Nan Gaidheal
    • BBC Radio Ulster
    • BBC Radio Foyle
    • BBC Radio Wales
    • BBC Radio Cymru
    • BBC Radio Berkshire
    • BBC Radio Bristol
    • BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
    • BBC Radio Cornwall
    • BBC Coventry & Warwickshire
    • BBC Radio Cumbria
    • BBC Radio Derby
    • BBC Radio Devon
    • BBC Essex
    • BBC Radio Gloucestershire
    • BBC Guernsey
    • BBC Hereford & Worcester
    • BBC Radio Humberside
    • BBC Radio Jersey
    • BBC Radio Kent
    • BBC Radio Lancashire
    • BBC Radio Leeds
    • BBC Radio Leicester
    • BBC Lincolnshire
    • BBC London 94.9
    • BBC Radio Manchester
    • BBC Radio Merseyside
    • BBC Newcastle
    • BBC Radio Norfolk
    • BBC Radio Northampton
    • BBC Radio Nottingham
    • BBC Oxford
    • BBC Radio Sheffield
    • BBC Radio Shropshire
    • BBC Radio Solent
    • BBC Somerset
    • BBC Radio Stoke
    • BBC Radio Suffolk
    • BBC Surrey
    • BBC Sussex
    • BBC Tees
    • BBC Three Counties Radio
    • BBC Wiltshire
    • BBC WM
    • BBC Radio York

  25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “What crap. Its true Ireland buy in several BBC programs, but BBC is not universally available via Irelands terrestrial service.”

    Who mentioned terrestrial services? Not me. The point is you’re legally licenced to watch those BBC channels in Ireland if you have the equipment to receive them. No subscription is required to watch them on satellite.

  26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “There is an article on the Guardian about this by some TV bod.”


  27. gillie says:

    Potentially losing £200 million a year has probably helped in convincing the BBC to throw its lot in with the No campaign.

    No that it needed much convincing in the first place.

  28. Chris says:

    RTE do not pay for all of the BBC output in the Ireland (ROI) for terrestrial TV but do purchase British programming from both the BBC and ITV, e.g., all the soaps, X factor and all the good daytime stuff. If you have Sky in ROI you do get access to the BBC channels as it is run from the same satellite as the UK.

    In Northern Ireland they get 3 of the ROI channels through the Freeview terrestrial service in an agreement from 2010 which was also meant to include a reciprocal agreement for ROI to get BBC1 NI and BBC2 NI but, as usual, this part of the deal has been changed to a paid for service for terrestrial customers.

    So after independence for Scotland, if you want all the BBC channels you have three options:

    1) Get the Scottish Broadcasting Service to purchase all of BBC1-BBC4 from the rUK (probably for a figure greater than 25m Euro
    2) Subscribe to Sky
    3) By a freesat device and put in a UK postcode

    Alternatively, do what the Irish do- pay for the best(?) and forget the filler!

  29. Stuart Black says:

    I would hope that the constitution could have something in it banning these bloody PROPERTY programmes! 😉

  30. beachthistle says:

    Some more examples of BBC programmmes being sold/watched in other countries are given here by, er, the BBC, last week:

    “What the world thinks of British TV”

    The article has a useful link to the relevant part of the Office for National Statistics website for anybody wanting/having the time to dig deeper…

  31. Lanarkist says:

    I keep seeing posts on other sites referring to club membership and not being allowed to use the facilities after stopping the membership fee.

    We are not paying customers per se, we are shareholders and have contributed massively to the development of technology and infra-structure. We have in effect already payed more than our fair share for the asset up till now, whilst getting a very measly return on our investment. All the best paid hierarchy with their London weighting and massive salaries, perks and pensions/ payoffs going into the South East economy or to lovely islands in the Carribean.

    This style of reasoning is very like the argument used for the BofE. The condescending assumption that Westminster tells us what it is to be, without discussion or negotiation. They automatically assume that they own it and we pay to get it delivered, probably something to do with British being in the title. British again in this case meaning English ownership.

    It would be good to let the Westminster crowd see themselves as others see them without fear of having funding withdrawn or having political pressure brought to down on staff and production budgets.

    I would even pay to see that, a Scottish perspective without fear or favour.

  32. a2 says:

    Party before job opportunities though, it’s a principled stance from our Chums by the Clyde.

  33. MochaChoca says:

    With the massive boost in our cultural identity and confidence that indy would bring, along with an increased budget and global interest in our journey, an SBC would be in a position not only to create the kind of quality output that would appeal more to our own appetites, but would be very saleable outwith our borders.

    The pro-indy stance of much of our creative sector would seem to back this up.

  34. Steve says:

    “No subscription is required to watch them on satellite.” – This isn’t strictly true (legally at least). The BBC channels are part of your subscription in Ireland for cable and satellite. If you live near the border you can get them for free but that’s cheating…

  35. STEVE says:

    .i was thinking,wonder if they told the staff at BBC Scotland they were to lose their jobs after Indy ?….or did the statement just fly over the heads of the unions ?….mmmmm , me smellin shite here !…..also,since the Scots own 10% of the BBC , if we dont get to watch its all the better,they can just send our share of the profits up each year !…gets you thinking clearly all this stuff that aint being said !….

  36. KillieBoab says:

    As a fan of the Nordic Noir programmes, such as The Killing, The Bridge and Wallander, I look forward to SBC using the Stuart McBride novels to create our very own Doric Noir.

  37. Cjlehan says:

    UWS (university of the west of Scotland) have not long completed a study into the bbc bias on the indyref.

  38. Steve B says:

    Just to back up what the Rev says. There was an agreement in 2010 between the UK and Irish governments which said that RTE programs would be available free to view in Northern Ireland, but that BBC programs would be made available as widely as possible in Ireland, but possibly as a paid-for service (there seems to have been some confusion at the time).

    Consequently UK TV services are supplied by Satellite and Cable channels who pay for them. However, a fair number of the Republic’s population have spillover reception from Northern Ireland anyway and can receive it through an ariel.

    Separate to this, RTE has a separate commercial agreement with the BBC to buy in programs, which it looks like, was just renewed last month.

    I think an independent Scotland would have lots of options concerning broadcasting and would be able to choose what’s best for it and, additionally, Scottish residents would be able to also make their own individual choices through their choice of platform (satellite, broadband, etc).

  39. StevieMcB says:

    I’m with that. a mass non payment & the following publicity on other media would certainly focus minds.
    lets do it!

  40. an_obersver says:

    Looks like this ‘story’ wasn’t very well researched.

    You really ought to update it ASAP as at the moment it’s just misleading.

  41. Grouse Beater says:

    An SBC can be given the mandate to part-or-in-whole fund, script development and budget underwrite, plus guarantee to broadcast films made in Scotland, after rUK-European distribution, and with due negotiation, be that film’s distributer worldwide for a percentage in profits.

    (All profits of Trainspotting, the vast sum made by Blockbuster rental, went abroad.)

    If we can secure that linear support Scotland can, at long last, generate a consistent film output, and might be in a position to protect and nurture its indigenous talent by establishing an academy of the moving picture, complete with its own accolades for achievements.

  42. Elizabeth says:

    Kirsty Wark leaves the door open?

    Pat Kane tweeted this:

  43. Molly says:

    Last year was surprised to see the BBC news pop up in Cuba of all places but was even more surprised to see them run a trailer of famous figures for the channel. Martin Luther King, Obama and I think JFK etc all wearing Rolex watches. I always thought there was no advertising on the BBC.The watch was the connection between them all with a you’ll find it here kind of trailer.

    Be interesting to add to the above, to see the ‘oversea ‘ deals

  44. caz-m says:

    Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson doing his bit for the YES Campaign.

    He is explaining to the audience what England would lose after a YES vote. So he thought it would be funny to mention that they would also lose “tramps”, and they all had a good laugh at that one. Link
    Starts 14.30 in.

    Clarkson is up there with Kelvin MacKenzie, Jonathan Ross and their like with their little Englander attitude.

    England can keep the lot of them.

  45. tartanfever says:

    Rev, I think that figure may be misleading.

    That figure you quoted is in relation for all overseas programmes. That presumably includes from Europe and, more importantly, the USA.

    I’ve no idea what RTE broadcast, I haven’t checked the schedules, but I would think that American dramas and comedies would account for some of that spending. ‘Friends’,’The Wire’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘The Simpsons’ and countless other American shows have become regular features on our screens.

    I’m sure RTE don’t solely import shows from the BBC only.

    Your original estimate of £14m could well be more accurate.

  46. vince cooper says:

    Great piece of investigation and powerful information for a section of the electorate who might have been worried about this. However we must get this into the MSM. Do we have a conduit for this?

    By the way the remark re sports funding, especially football for me, is absolutely correct.

    This reminds me of the unbelievably poor deal we get from the BBC (British) re Scottish football.

    The BBC gives the English Premier League £60m per year for highlights. In addition the BBC and Sky have a joint contract with the English Football league at £88m per year. I cannot find the BBC share of this but even if it is 10% It would mean that the BBC are promoting English football with £90m per year of licence fee money, forgetting all the production costs involved.

    I cannot find the figure that Scottish football receives from the BBC but hopefully someone else can. I doubt if its more than £1m – if that.

  47. vince cooper says:

    Sorry £90m should have read £70m

  48. Marker Post says:

    Ruth Davidson, responding to a Fiona Hyslop speech last year, said that independence would mean that Scots would miss out on popular programmes and sporting events.

    In a statement to BBC Scotland the former BBC employee said: “I worked for the BBC for a number of years and I know that right now we get the best of both worlds. We get distinctive Scottish broadcasting and world-class BBC programmes. We pay around £300m towards the licence fee but, by clubbing together with the rest of the UK, we get well more than £3bn worth of programming.”

    Well Ruthie, the Irish seem to be getting £3bn worth of programming for about £21 million.

    Poor wee Ruthie, never let facts get in the way of a good argument.

  49. Murray McCallum says:

    Maybe it’s only because of the “broad shoulders” of the UK that we have TV sets, satellite receivers, and transmission infrastructure.

    How could Scots possibly have done all this by themselves? The rUK may want all these things that they kindly bought us with their taxes back?

  50. David says:

    One flaw in the analysis. If Scottish people no longer pay the licence but instead we have our own TV service then the BBC will see a reduction of licence income of £300 million. They will have a reduction in costs of £93 million from no longer providing the BBC Scotland service. That leaves BBC with a net reduction in funding of £207 million. You are making the assumption that we will then be able to buy full Scottish viewing rights for about the same as Ireland pays, £21 million. That will still leave the BBC with a loss of funding of around £186 million. Looking at it this way makes me think that the £21 million figure is probably far too low. For the record, I am a definite YES on September 18th. I worry that if we are not careful and honest with the data that we have available to us we just create another weakness and flaw in our arguments which BT will then use against us. My own guess is that we would be in for some hard bargaining on rights to view BBC in Scotland after a YES vote and we are likely to be paying much more than the suggested £21 million. Or am I misunderstanding something?

  51. Vronsky says:

    I’d be willing to pay two three times the present licence fee in exchange for a guarantee that I never have to see the BBC again.

  52. CletusIRL says:

    Just to confirm from this side of the Irish sea what SteveB said above – RTÉ does buy in some programming the BBC’s output, as it does from ITV etc. It also purchases programming from other European, American, and Australian networks for domestic consumption as well.

    A lot of Irish homes subscribe to satellite or cable TV, and so receive UK broadcasts anyway as part of that package. However free-to-air services are still available by satellite and terrestrial overspill in border areas.
    This is by agreement, and through technical cooperation between the Irish and UK governments, with a backdrop of European law that guarantees the freedom of free-to-air TV and radio reception across borders. If Ireland and the UK can agree this together, why shouldn’t an independent Scotland and rUK be able to do the same? Complete scaremongering without foundation once again.

    UK domestic broadcasts are widely received free-to-air in the western Netherlands and Belgium too, nobody’s threatening to switch them off!

  53. Roboscot says:

    Who wants a state media?
    Who wants such a socially regressive tax as the TV Licence fee?
    It’s all so 20th century.

  54. Illy says:


    I’d like to see Project Fear have an actual argument with the facts backing it up for once.

    Would make a nice change of pace.

  55. Gonnaejustsayaye says:

    A Tory I bump into now and again just told me there is bad opinion poll for Yes going to appear today.He might just be at the wind up
    I would not put it past them to start fixing the poll. I don’t know anyone who is voting NO in my immediate circle of friends and family
    In regard to the original topic
    Alan Hansen got more of a salary last year for presenting BBC Match Of the Day than the BBC paid for its limited coverage of Scottish Fitba

  56. Les Wilson says:

    I will be sooo glad to get rid of the BBC, there are shown up for what they actually are, an arm of Westminster. Buy some popular programs in by all means, but my particular interest would be all the ” proud” propagandists getting a sever boot out.

    Live will be better here without these people.

  57. Bill C says:

    Our other unionist broadcaster has just published this Don’t knows hold key? Any thoughts folks?

  58. Claire McNab says:

    Stu, I’m sorry to say this appears post appears to be based on a serious misunderstanding on your part. (I am Irish of Scots descent, and divide my time between Ireland and England)

    RTE’s own inhouse production and domestic commissions do not cover all of its airtime; it buys in significant amounts of foreign programming, as you can see at — Neighbours, CSI, Eastenders etc. RTE obviously has to pay for the right to rebroadcast or simulcast these shows, and those are the costs labelled “acquired programming”. These payments are for programming broadcast on RTE channels.

    RTE does not have a role in relation to the watching of foreign *channels*. That aspect has been largely unregulated (cable and other operators simply put up aerials and captured the signals coming from Wales or Northern Ireland), and insofar as efforts are made to regularise it, they are the responsibility of govt: see a few snippets of the sort of approach at

    That has not, for example, allowed Irish residents to use BBC Iplayer unless they pay for an IP forwarding service which makes it appear that they are in UKania.

    An equivalent situation in Scotland would be:
    * No iplayer access
    * Scottish Broadcasting Service transmits any BBC progs which has licensed from the BBC at whatever fee the BBC will accept
    * People in the Scottish borders or close to Northern Ireland will be able to tune in to BBC transmitters is they have the appropriate equipment
    * Elsewhere in Scotland, carriers (cable, satellite, whatever) may carry BBC channels either by licensing the channels from the BBC or by hoping that the BBC turns a blind eye (as it used to do to the local multiplexes in Ireland)

    The Scottish govt may choose to negotiate a comprehensive rebroadcast deal with the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 etc … but any costs thereof will be a separate issue from the costs shown in the RTE accounts under “acquired programming”.

  59. heedtracker says:

    @ David, we need to look at value for money BBC wise anyway. Look at how they shower themselves with hard cash at management level across the UK, £100+k for moving expenses sticks out for starters. Mind that enraged DG that only got a £500 grand+ payoff when his £3.3 billion per year UKOK propaganda machine finally revealed the Saville horror?

  60. tartanfever says:


    You are correct. £21m would not buy the full channel services of the entire BBC, it would allow you, however, too buy a good many of the favourite programmes.

    Remember, the BBC want to sell their programmes. If given a choice, would they rather get no revenue for Dr Who or receive, say £250k, per series.

    Pragmatism will win the day of course. I know for a fact that when Dr Who went out originally in the USA it was broadcast on the Sci-Fi channel and was sold for a pittance.

  61. Helpmaboab says:

    I don’t see why a Scottish broadcasting service would feel obliged to buy in BBC programmes.

    We could continue to watch the BBC’s output, without being forced to pay the TV tax, simply by acquiring a suitable satellite receiver. The signals wouldn’t stop dead at the border after independence!

    Mind you, given London’s current belligerent stance on independence, they might soon threaten to establish a chain of jamming transmitters along the Tweed. Being denied access to Strictly Come Dancing would teach us uppity Scots a valuable lesson, no doubt…

  62. tartanfever says:


    you’ve just highlighted what I said above in another post.

    The chart the Rev uses says ‘acquired overseas programming’ – which sensibly means all programmes bought in from all overseas broadcasters, not just the BBC.

    In which case, the amount actually spent on BBC programming is less than the £20m the Rev has suggested.

  63. heedtracker says:

    In the USA you can add BBC America to your cable package for about $25 per year. Scotland of course won’t be allowed this deal, for our cheek.

  64. handclapping says:

    Stu, you are turning into a bloody accountant. Who cares about the price of the BBC? It sells because of its value. I outline everything that gives value to the BBC below:-

  65. callum says:

    I look at the other way round. BBC is a commercial enterprise that the scots have paid into since it’s inception. Like any asset, I’d like to either see:

    1) an onrunning dividend for our investment into the BBC
    2) or a valuation of the BBC, including its vast digital assets and future revenue and a split price agreed that either Scotland “sells” to the rUk or agrees for no cost output for a given period of time.

    but then. I’m a dirty capitalist We have to play hard ball during these negotiations.

  66. Murray McCallum says:

    You know your country’s on the verge of being permanently fuc*ed when a significant element of society debate whether watching a 30 minute TV show exceeds the value of having the government they democratically voted for.

  67. Media Man says:

    It is actually quite easy to pick up BBC and other TV/radio channels perfectly legally if you live anywhere in the British Isles: buy a cheap satellite dish (about the size of a Sky one) and point it at the satellite known as Astra at 28.2 deg. East. You will then have access to all the FTA (Free To Air) TV/radio channels listed here (they are the ones marked “F” in the column “System encryption”):

  68. Training Day says:

    @Bill C

    I place no faith in either of our Unionist broadcasters nor Ipsos Mori, but for the life of me I struggle to understand the mentality of anyone who genuinely thinks they’ll now vote No because Osborne threatened them. What are they expecting after capitulating via a No vote? Respect from Osborne et al? It will be quite the reverse..

  69. caz-m says:

    Just found out that Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear, is on over £3million a year salary.

    We give him loads of money, he gives us loads of shit.

    We have a similar deal with BBC Scotland.

  70. Bill C says:

    @Training Day – Totally agree.

  71. Edward says:

    A couple of snippets
    I caught an interview on BBC News regarding the BBC post independence. As I only came in towards the end only caught the response from Fiona Hyslop.
    But what did catch my ears was the mention that Scotland provides £ 120 million a year in licence money. Ok for those of sharper mind will realise that this figure is lower than what had been quoted at various stages last year, which was £ 130 million. So the point is , has revenue dropped due to less licence money as people stop paying, or is the BBC massaging the figure downward, to fit the argument that Scots cant afford to run their own broadcaster. Which as it happens was the argument from the first person being interviewed (might have been Maria Miller).
    The second broadcasting related snippet, was from the Irvine debate, in which that all round expert Brian Donohoe, spouted that in Norway, the TV licence is a lot higher than it is in the UK. Actually its only about 1.5 times, but then again and this seemed to have slipped Donohoes mind, that Norwegians earn three times as much as we do.

  72. David says:

    I am assuming that at the moment we pay £300 million to BBC from Scottish licence fees. In return we get a £93 million service, BBC Scotland . So Scotland contributes £207 million to the “British” part of the BBC output. If, after a yes, we no longer make that contribution those on the other side of the negotiating table might expect a contribution of more than £21 million to fill the gap that has been created. If I was in their shoes I would be turning down the £21 million offer. I know that it is more complicated than this and note some mentions of European law obliging national broadcasters to allow their content to be available in other countries. I just think we need to recognise that what’s left of the BBC will, market forces and European law excepted, expect that £207 million shortfall to be part of the negotiated settlement.

  73. Edward says:

    Apart from what you have just illustrated
    What ‘grinds my gears’ is the fact that the BBC World Service, which is the world’s view of what is in and happening in Britain, is still a sad 1950’s pro English
    slant. So anyone around the world wanting to learn about Britain as a whole, only gets to find out about all things English

  74. Jeez Louise says:

    Just to try and put this satellite nonsense to bed – residents in Ireland can receive Freesat signals. This is because the Freesat footprint covers Scotland, England and Ireland (it’s an oval shape and can’t be adjusted to exclude Ireland).

    Furthermore, if you already have a Sky dish, you can pick up the Freesat signals using the same dish, without any adjustment. This is because the Freesat satellite is in the same area of sky as Sky’s satellite (I forget their names).

    Therefore, if you already have a Sky dish, you can continue to pay Sky and still receive BBC1, BBC2, ITV, etc as well as whatever terrestrial signals there will be in an independent Scotland.

    Or you can use your old Sky dish, buy a relatively cheap Freesat decoder and receive the same BBC1, etc. Or you buy a Freesat dish as well as a decoder. With both together coming in very roughly at £100 (not including fitting) it’s not a huge expense. Perhaps the SBC could even reduce the fee by £20 for 5 years to cover the cost.

    And it is NOT illegal to receive Freesat in Ireland – who is going to prosecute? The BBC using laws that only apply in UK/rUK? Or perhaps they’ll seek the extradition of every Freesat user in Ireland? Even though there is no law in Ireland preventing someone using Freesat?

    Seriously, if your decision for voting Yes or No is based on HOW, not if, you receive all of the rUK channels then please do the rest of us a favour and don’t get out of bed on the 18th Sept.

  75. scottish_skier says:

    STV poll is MORI landline telephone and as such rather useless. It’s the outlier of outliers. The sore thumb of sore thumbs.

    Last one had and extra ~5% of the Scots population born in England rather than Scotland. That’s enough to add 5% to No and take 5% off Yes even before you consider the fact that a large percentage of homes (15% in 2012) no longer use landlines and those who don’t use landlines are more Yes people (C2DE and also younger generations).

    I’ll see how bad it looks when the tables come out.

  76. Training Day says:

    @Bill C

    And how many of us would rule out a scenario where the No vote is kept artificially high in polls up until 18 September to justify a rigged result – where the vast majority of people you know voted Yes on the day and yet No won a clear majority. Westminster can point to ‘polls’ leading up to the vote as corroboration of the result.

    Couldn’t happen here? Those who argue it couldn’t have more faith in Westminster, the Electoral Commission and the probity of polling companies than do I.

  77. Fay-yes says:

    Thank you Stu, this article has just been the final piece of the jigsaw for my formerly No leaning undecided friend – she’s just declared support for Yes! We are getting there, slowly but surely, and will deliver for Scotland this September. Keep up the great work!

  78. Helpmaboab says:

    Media Man at 2.26 pm,

    Thanks for those technical details about receiving satellite broadcasts. You’ve demonstrated clearly that there’s nothing to stop us receiving British TV, free-of-charge, after independence. It’ll be just one of any number of broadcasting services available by pointing a dish at the correct co-ordinates.

    Perhaps Westminster will arrange to tilt the Astra satellite so that it no longer covers Scotland?

  79. scottish_skier says:

    TNS No is closest to the truth at 41/42%

    Everyone has a front door.

    Their problem is shy Yes as evidenced by silly DK numbers.

  80. Brian Powell says:

    BBC Scotland and now BBC everywhere putting all this effort into the anti-Independence push, but can’t quite grasp the Westminster Tories are not very fond of them.

    In fact for the BBC they don’t like it much at all, because it’s not controlled by private enterprise.

    Right now the BBC is doing its bit for Labour against the SNP, but to survive it could soon be required to do its bit against Labour.

  81. oldnat says:

    Only ever compare a poll with the previous one(s) from the same pollster using the same methodology. Latest STV/Ipsos-MORI poll (changes from their Dec poll in brackets)

    Certain to vote
    Yes 32% (-2%) : No 57% (nc) : DK 11% (+1)

    Don’t Knows leaning towards –

    Yes 39% (+12%) : No 29% (-5%) : Nae idea 32% (-6%)

  82. X_Sticks says:

    Training Day says:

    “And how many of us would rule out a scenario where the No vote is kept artificially high in polls up until 18 September to justify a rigged result”

    Yup, this^^^. I don’t trust them one jot. The voting for the referendum has to be watertight and should be overseen by independent parties (from outside the UK)even if we have to pay for them ourselves. I don’t trust the Electoral Comission or anyone else from the UK.

  83. Clancheif says:

    Licence fee ???
    There surely shouldn’t be a telly tax any more
    The whole idea of having a licence just to have a tv in your home is long outdated .
    We have these days of multiple channels etc ways of paying for your programs you want to watch
    If I don’t want to watch the sbc then I shouldn’t have to buy a licence just to have a tv in the home.
    I thought when we are going to have a “new Scotland” then we weren’t going to do everything the same way as its done done south of the border>
    If we’re going to do everything the same ….. why bother being independent in the first place
    Scrap Westminster rule … Scrap the telly licence too
    (or at the very least make a licence optional)

  84. proudscot says:

    O/T but I’ve just responded to a tweet by Alan Bissett, the author and actor, in which he reports that Aberdeen City Council have seemingly banned First Minister Alex Salmond from “all council properties”!

    If this is true, then it is not only disgraceful, it is also probably illegal, as this would mean the First Minister of the democratically elected government of Scotland was being banned from entering a PUBLICLY owned and funded building.

    It will be interesting to hear the spin put on this by the BBC and MSM – if reported – and Ms Lamont’s justification and support of this decision at next FMQs.

  85. bjsalba says:

    I’d be curious as to what proportion of licence fees goes to a) manager salaries, expenses and perks. b) Buildings London, Manchester, Glasgow etc.

    I don’t have a TV but watch some BBC Alba programs on IPlayer. No change there I assume. I used to listen to much more Radio than I do now, but many of the quality programs I used to listen to are gone and the replacements are just drivel. What would I lose? Not much.

  86. bjsalba says:

    OT sort of just went to WNYC for a quick look
    Found this item
    The Brian Lehrer Show
    Social Media for Social Change

    Interesting reading.

    And now we know who our comrades are.

  87. muttley79 says:

    @Training Day

    “What are they expecting after capitulating via a No vote? Respect from Osborne et al? It will be quite the reverse”..

    I am afraid to say I am still concerned by the SNP’s failure to spell out the consequences of a No vote in a manner that is really required.

  88. AllyBally says:

    Full BBC programming is available in central France on a £50 satellite kit bought in B&Q – FREE, as are all ITV C4 and C5.

  89. caz-m says:


    WTF is that STV poll all about. A lead of 25 points to NO between 20th feb – 25th feb.

    No serious journalist would run with this story. This is Project Fear gone mad.

    And yet “Hi I’m John Mackay” will run loud and clear with it tonight. As I said, any serious journalist would NOT use these figures.

    If this polling company is so far out with it’s polling results then why do STV use them.

    STV news tries to come across as a programme for the people and be straight down the middle, but as we all know they can turn into your worst nightmare when you are not expecting it.

    I have just emailed them about this bullshit.

    Will be giving STV a wide berth for a few days just to calm down.

  90. HandandShrimp says:

    Wille Young and ACC seem to have taken leave of their senses. Can you imagine what the press would say if Lamont was banned from all council premises in an SNP run council.

    It just looks like tin pot posturing.

  91. Bill C says:

    @Training Day – again totally agree. I have never doubted that Perfidious Albion will stop at nothing to keep Scotland.
    @Scottish_Skier – Thanks for your thoughts. Always good to have a clinical eye cast over these propaganda polls.

  92. TheGreatBaldo says:

    I am afraid to say I am still concerned by the SNP’s failure to spell out the consequences of a No vote in a manner that is really required.

    Nah Muttley….this is the last great Unionist offensive….

    Corporate Results season, though AAM, the new owners of Scottish Widows should be interesting given Gilbert has said Indy will have neutral impact on their business

    The Unionist parties spring conference or more specifically Labours last throw of the Devo Max dice….

    And thats’ really all the Unionists have left in their locker

    After that well it’s all good for YES

    The SNP Spring conference (small bump to YES)…..

    The Euro Elections (if is as expected another bump for YES).

    Commonwealth Games (Patriotic bump to YES)

    Oh and in theory at least a balanced playing field regarding broadcast media with the start of the actual ‘official’ campaign.

    The scare tactics can now only be reheated and if the best they can do is knock 2 points of YES after 2 week sustained all out media attack…..well there are still grounds for reasonable confidence and optimism.

  93. TheGreatBaldo says:

    Oh yeah and the Tories gaining ground on Labour…last poll had them 5 behind as Rev pointed out if even half UKIP voter slip back to the Tories Cameron could have a landslide.

  94. Churm Rincewind says:

    Claire McNab above has it absolutely right, and the original post has it absolutely wrong.

    I’d only add that there’s a further complication in that the underlying rights in BBC-produced programmes – i.e. with writers, actors, etc – currently only extend to UK broadcast and may not include broadcast in an independent Scotland. To that extent Maria Miller is correct.

    As far as acquired programmes are concerned (e.g. American programmes broadcast by the BBC) Scottish rights in the event of independence would not be included and acquired rights would be subject to separate payment by a Scottish broadcaster.

    Which is all perfectly possible but does not result in the rosy picture outlined in the Rev Stu’s post.

  95. Jim says:

    I recently had a polite exchange of words with a fellow Yesser on Twitter who was saying that BBC Scotland had a budget of just over £170 million and asking where the other half of licence fees raised in Scotland were going.

    I tried to explain that BBC Scotland has a budget of under £90 million for core Scottish programming ie. programmes produced for a Scottish audience.

    A similar amount is spent by the BBC “in Scotland” for programmes made for an UK audience: Waterloo Road etc – even Question Time is an independent production for BBC Scotland. It is a con and a blatant case of the BBC cooking the books. If people at home and abroad knew these facts the BBC would squirm even more than it is at present.

    Also, the BBC considers the likes of River City to be too parochial to be broadcast to an UK-wide audience but thinks Eastenders isn’t. It’s an abomination of a public service broadcaster for so many reasons!

  96. Flower of Scotland says:

    At this time in Scotland , if you have free sat , or Sky , you can watch lots of News Channels . However if you have freeview , you can only watch one BIASED , PROPAGANDA producing news channel and that is the BBC !!
    I have said this before , that those who have little money and can only afford freeview , are being indoctrinated by the BBC every day and they don’t have a choice !
    The BBC just seem to have everything tied up nicely to suit themselves . They are despicable , and so are the Reporters who go along with this Bias !
    I DONT want BBC NEWS in a SBC , they had their chance !

  97. Yesitis says:

    @Training Day
    “And how many of us would rule out a scenario where the No vote is kept artificially high in polls up until 18 September to justify a rigged result – where the vast majority of people you know voted Yes on the day and yet No won a clear majority. Westminster can point to ‘polls’ leading up to the vote as corroboration of the result”

    I`ve been thinking about this for a while.
    Some people might find offence in the very thought of a rigged referendum, but after some of the shenanigans we`ve seen from the No campaign and the British state, nothing would surprise me.

  98. annie says:

    O/T STV poll, they are maintaining the chancellor’s intervention last week is responsible for the rise in No, drop in Yes. I’ve been telephone polled twice in last few weeks by the Libdems last week when they didn’t get answer they wanted they asked to speak to my husband – he refused.

  99. keyser soze says:

    For those interested. There are 2 polls running at present

  100. James Kay says:

    O/T, but a second bookie has suspended betting on the Referendum.

    and ask for ‘All History’.

    Betfair suspended a few days ago, and Coral yesterday.

    Any ideas why?

  101. Iain says:

    @James Kay

    Think it’s just a blip with Oddschecker, the indy market is available if you go direct to Betfair (possibly other ones too).

  102. G H Graham says:

    Ever wonder why we get the shite programs we receive from BBC England?

    The content serves to satisfy the creative, political & social expectations of the governors, creators, producers & the audience.

    The problem is that almost all of those people are in London. And the majority of the audience is in England.

    This is easily fixed though by scrapping the Television Tax (License Fee) & establishing a national broadcaster in Scotland that creates & broadcasts content that better serves those living in Scotland.

    Watching the BBC News at 6 is like watching news from a foreign country. Rarely is any content relevant to Scots unless you are fixated on someone else’s cricket performance or how a grammar school is funded in Dorset.

    And when a Scottish themed item is presented, its invariably an invitation for some hack standing in front of Westminster to verbally stab Alex Salmond or to reinforce puerile stereotypes.

  103. chalks says:

    Well, my Father in Law came out for Yes at the weekend. He is a lifelong Labour man. Says all his ex army mates are going for it as well. Just the mother in law to convince (yikes)

    Just to touch on the ACC thing, Willie Young is finished. He is turning his own support against him. The apathetic of the city are now also focused on him after the cosla vote.

    Back to running one of daddies businesses.

  104. Flower of Scotland says:

    @keyser soze
    It doesn’t work , I couldn’t vote ,

  105. Jim T says:

    The BBC 2013 annual report can be downloaded, in several parts, here :

    Apologies if anyone else has already provided that link.

    I’ve not started reading it yet but I suspect there will be some indication of income generation and spend.

    I’m also trying to untangle the family of legislation stemming from the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 that is the root of all subsequent “licencing” stuff.

    What I do understand is that it is an offence to POSSESS equipment capable of (even if not used for) providing a means to view television programmes if you don’t have a licence. Yes folks, that DOES include watching iPlayer on a PC/laptop/handheld device.

    I know, killjoy.

    I might lose the will to stay awake with the WTA 1949 thing, so apologies in advance if I don’t find any loopholes as far as licence fees for the Beeb is concerned. Those Westminster chappies (and chapesses) know how to weave a confusing web.

  106. Clootie says:

    It’s amazing to watch the layers being peeled back to reveal the truth.

  107. Steve B says:

    @Flower of Scotland

    Just a small clarification – if you are near a main Freeview transmitter, as well as BBC News Channel you’ll also get Sky News (not that I’ve ever watched it) as well as Al Jazeera English and RT which means that most people have a greater choice of free TV news through “standard” equipment than they did with analogue TV.

    Now how many people bother changing from their “usual” channels is another matter…

  108. Lindsay says:

    “because the RTE deal gives Irish viewers the entirety of BBC 1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4”


    BBC channels are not available as free-to-air terrestrial broadcasts in most of Ireland (except near the border with NI).

    You’ve put up a cable / satellite channel list – for which subscription is needed.

    The Irish digital TV channel list is here:

    Looks like

    a) you need to redo your sums

    b) Maria Miller is correct.

  109. Edward says:

    Ok lets take the guessing out of the BBC Scotland Budget

    “We asked the BBC for the costs and size of its operations in Scotland. It said its Scotland-only budget is £102m, to be cut to £86m by 2017 because of the licence fee freeze”

    “That figure does not include the £70m to £75m of “network business” that it generates from the rest of the corporation or outside it”

    Source : Guardian 29/02/2012

    Net licence fee income for all UK is £ 3,656 million
    source :

    There doesn’t appear to be a breakdown by country
    so we need to extrapolate based on number of households in the whole UK which is given as 18.2 million ( )

    Number of households in Scotland 2,372,780 (

    So based on above total licence income is around £ 345 million to £ 476 million from Scotland

    So £ 330 million is a fairly conservative estimate

  110. the Penman says:

    Just seen Rob Shorthouse retweeting a BT supporter complaining about Yes not turning up to 2 school debates, meaning the debates were cancelled.

    I know! Even the idea of Better Together bumping their gums about other people not turning up and hence stifling debate is making me giggle out loud here.

  111. Dan Huil says:

    Don’t care about BBC anymore. Or TV in general. Maybe it’s an age thing. Great free world radio on internet. If you’re into classical music try Netherlands Radio 4.

  112. Whiplash says:


    the whole of Donegal gets the BBC

  113. MajorBloodnok says:

    Hello Lindsay!

    Where does Rev Stu assert in his article that BBC channels are available as free-to-air terrestrial broadcasts in the RoI? I think we all missed that bit.

    Also, if you recall, the BBC is not actually free in the UK – we are supposed to pay a hefty licence fee for the pleasure, remember?

    And think of it. In an independent Scotland, we may continue with some sort of TV licence fee (or not), but have a choice of more decent Scottish output as well as the pick of what the BBC can offer.

    By the way, just for our information – how much as ‘they’ paying you to post this drivel here? (Money entirely wasted if you ask me…).

  114. tartanfever says:

    Sorry but there’s some misunderstanding going on here with

    Claire McNab


    Chum Rincewind.

    The figure quoted in the graphic show what RTE pay to acquire broadcast rights for programmes they have bought from abroad. Abroad meaning the UK, Europe, the USA.

    That figure says £20m (25m euros).

    What the Rev has done if anything, is overestimate what is paid to the BBC as he has contributed this £20m solely for BBC programme purchase when it covers all foreign tv purchases.

    It is clear that from what Scotland contributes in licence fees, a similar level, if not more could easily be put aside for an independent Scotland to buy in programming for the BBC, whilst still having enough to buy in other foreign programming as well as producing it’s own.

    The claims about difficulties regarding actors and such like that ‘Chum Rincewind’ mentions are completely false. If what he claims were the case, the BBC would not be selling any of it’s programmes abroad as it would be too much hassle for any foreign broadcaster and they would just say ‘bugger that’. All BBC contracts cover world broadcasts until the end of time ( seriously, they do)

    Actors are Equity members, some get paid again if the programme is repeated, however, the sale to foreign broadcasters is purely dealt with by the BBC internally, it is not anything to do with the purchasing broadcaster.

    BBC contracts are tough. I know, I’ve signed dozens of them. They reserve the right to broadcast the programme you are involved with as many times as they like and this covers all overseas territories and foreign sales – you do not get paid again whether you are the producer, the director, the tea boy or whatever.

    You also sign away any intellectual rights. They are absolutely bullet proof.

  115. Whiplash says:


    You seem to miss the point about what RTE show. They broadcast the most popular programmes from the BBC such as Eastenders which is on two time today on RTE1

  116. a Supporter says:

    “I am afraid to say I am still concerned by the SNP’s failure to spell out the consequences of a No vote in a manner that is really required.”

    Fear not muttley. I undestand YES/SNP are starting their big push later this month using big money on advertising on all sorts of media all over Scotland (Q if they have the money can they advertise on STV?). They want to spend a lot before the limits during the ‘Official Campaign’ take effect from 30 May.
    They won’t start I am sure until the runes are favourable and definitely not until the Company Results Season is nearly over at the end of the month

  117. scottish_skier says:

    RE STV MORI poll.

    Oh dear. Seems 5% of Scotland’s population has been replaced by people from England…Way off on natID too. A very oddly British sample.

    Fascinating – SNP got only 36% in 2011 too!

    Oh dear. STV just pissing £’s up against a wall again.

    Roughly corrected based on NatID and separately on Holyrood 2011 vote and then averaged.

    37% Yes
    43% No
    20% DK

    Which looks a little more realistic now doesn’t it. Sort of like a mix between ICM, panelbase and TNS.

  118. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “BBC channels are not available as free-to-air terrestrial broadcasts in most of Ireland (except near the border with NI).”

    Oh for fuck’s sake, could you at least have the courtesy not to just repeat things that have already been said and answered in the same thread you’re posting in?

  119. Jim T says:

    In the BBC accounts for 2012/2013 there are:

    THREE mentions of “Scotland” – all attached to entries under “Radio Scotland”
    THREE mentions of ALBA – all against entries under BBC ALBA
    ONE mention of Pacific Quay (which is leased).

    Really helpful.

    It’s almost as though they didn’t want us to understand something.

  120. scottish_skier says:

    Panelbase Oct 2013.

    Do you feel that the following people and organisations have been acting with the best interests of the people of Scotland at heart? … The BBC (UK)
    20% Yes
    36% No
    43% DK

    I’m not sure that’s a ringing endorsement.

  121. Iain says:

    The BBC can be picked up all over Western Europe as far as Tenerife on Astra 2 despite its footprint being reduced over eastern and southern Europe a few weeks ago. All BBC broadcasts, including our illustrious Misreporting North Britain, can be received in all of Ireland with a cheapo sat dish and receiver for around 60 Euros. No subscription required, no license required. End of.

    So, that would be the sums redone and more ridiculous scaremongering put to bed.

  122. Morag says:

    The BBC licence fee used to be very good value, when there was little else on TV and the quality and variety were excellent. I used to believe it was a steal of a bargain.

    Now, though, it’s an anachronistic imposition. We’re all FORCED to pay quite a high tax for the BBC before we even begin to decide what we want to watch or how we might like to spend our own money on broadcast output. Add to that the extraordinarily rude and aggressive way the BBC pursue the collection of that tax, and I’ve gone right off them.

    Maybe an independent Scotland will have a TV licence and maybe it won’t. Maybe we’ll have an independent Scottish BC with a far better, more varied and more relevant output and wonder why we ever cared. Without any doubt, we will be able to watch what we like post independence, subject only to paying for our chosen flavour of glass teat.

    If we’re no longer forced to pay the BBC licence fee, that frees up quite a lot of dosh to spend in other ways. I really don’t see what the concern is. Anyone who seriously thinks we won’t have access to Doctor Who is too stupid to be in charge of a computer, and anyone who isn’t that stupid but says so anyway is a lying scumbag.

    So there.

  123. Dal Riata says:

    The only BBC contribution that gets watched at home is BBC Alba. Yes, we are a family of Gaelic speakers, and BBC Alba does give us programmes relevant to the Gaelic culture, but it is not only for that reason that we watch it.

    They offer documentaries and reports on other countries worldwide and, in the programme, Eorpa, they give European news and current affairs.

    So what? you might say. Well, those reports and documentaries on countries outside Europe are given without the usual BBC London slant on how they ‘effect’ “Britain”, then the Eorpa programme offering European views compared to the ‘mainstream’ BBC one… um…eh…can’t be… because it doesn’t exist!

    For me, as a Gaelic speaker who has his culture ridiculed and denigrated on a regular basis by British Establishment Britnat, xenophobic if not racist arseholes, what is shown by the likes of Alba is that Scotland and its people – and not just those who speak Gaelic – are far more internationalist and open to other countries’ peoples views and cultures in outlook than the insular Westminster and its braying upper-classes, xenophobes, right-wingers and blinded-by-MSM-lies loons. Scots feel as if they are part of this world and wish to share it with no malice upon others… Westminster doesn’t…

    Anyway, apart from that delivered by BBC Alba, the other BBC channels are not watched in our household. They are but Better Together’s propaganda mouthpiece and deserve nothing but scorn.

    An SBC is the way to go once Scotland is independent. Can’t wait!

  124. alexicon says:

    I was watching BBC (London) last year in Rotterdam. As I understand it most of Holland, Belgium parts of France and some parts of Germany and Denmark receive the BBC free of charge.
    The BBC can’t stop transmission at the border of any country bordering, or close by, UK/England’s shores.

  125. Flower of Scotland says:

    As above . We don’t all live near main transmitters , even in cities !

  126. gerry parker says:

    They may get paid on the basis of the number of replies to their posting.


  127. caz-m says:

    I could have sworn that the polls in the real world were closing, but not according to UKPOLLINGREPORT.

    Those polls from various companies are showing a rapid increase in the NO vote.

    So, someone is telling porkies. It’s either the SNP/YES campaign or it’s the polling companies/MSM.

    Here is the last five poll results regarding Scottish Independence.

    It shows the Yes vote moving from -9 on 18th Feb to -25 on 3rd Mar.

    Ipsos MORI/STV (2) 03/03/14 -25

    YouGov/Sun (3) 28/02/14 -18

    ICM/Scotland on Sunday (1) 21/02/14 -12

    Panelbase/SNP (3) 21/02/14 -10

    Survation/Daily Mail (1) 18/02/14 -9

  128. Papadox says:


    BBC NEWS FLASH: no 10 rules out military intervention in the Ukraine. These clowns are totally delusional.

    I’m sure the proud pseudo middle class Scots (snobs) will be very disappointed at not being allowed to show their loyalty to their GB superiors and teach these foreigners a lesson.

  129. MajorBloodnok says:

    @gerry parker


  130. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Final reminder –

    Ayr Town Hall, 7.30 tonight – SSP Public Meeting. Main speakers Colin Fox and Jim Sillars.

    All welcome.

  131. Edward says:

    Ok more clarification for you

    Current TV reception in the UK is via one of three platforms

    1. Terrestrial (aerial on your roof) providing DVB (Digital Video Broadcast) through
    Freeview. For this service you are and need to be in clear range of a ground transmitter
    which transmits digital services.

    2. Satellite (dish on your roof), providing DSB (Digital Satellite Broadcast), this is either through
    the free to air service of ‘Freesat’ or subscription through Sky (you can also have non Freesat/non Sky generic receivers for picking any free or subscription broadcasts not covered by either ‘Freesat’ or Sky)

    There is no restriction to reception as it comes directly from space satellite

    3. Cable reception, as with Satellite, but provided through underground cables, usual provider’s are British Telecom or Virgin Media. Service is subscription only

  132. gerry parker says:

    Best of luck for a good turn ought tonight. Was at the Airdrie Yes event when Jim Sillars was there, great speaker.

    Also enjoyed his book, In place of fear II.

  133. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @gerry parker says:
    They may get paid on the basis of the number of replies to their posting.

    I hope it’s them trolling on a “no win, no fee” basis.

    BT are supposed to be skint.

  134. Oisín Murphy-Lawless says:

    Rev, to the best of my knowledge, RTE doesn’t buy that much TV from the Beeb. Granted, most people get it as part of a cable package or satellite or what have you. But I think that figure is principally for sport and american television.

    Happy to have another Irish reader correct me, mind, since I’m no longer resident in Ireland. But since the switich off of analogue, access to BBC has been exclusive to cable tv arrangements.

  135. Jimsie says:

    I want to get rid of BBC and would happily do away with the tv.My wife for 48 years will not agree. Do I have grounds for divorce?.

  136. Oisín Murphy-Lawless says:

    If anyone’s interested, there’s a memorandum of understanding dating to 2010 for the switchover to digital, committing Irish Govt to free transmission of RTE digitally, and the BBC being available but paid for by subscribers:

  137. Edward says:

    as BBC Scotland does now. It will have full access to the terrestrial platform ‘Freeview’
    Apart from the ‘new’ Scottish broadcaster, you will still have STV and sure that Channel 4 and 5 will want to continue to be shown, they may even develop more Scottish identities on that platform.
    The ‘new’ Scottish broadcaster will have to negotiate with SES in Luxembourg as regards taking over the transponder space, currently used by BBC Scotland on the Astra satellite system, as well as developing its own Satellite platform, as the current Freesat set up is a joint BBC / ITV venture. So a future broadcaster could set up something similar with STV being the partner

  138. Training Day says:


    At this rate Yes will be at 0 in the polls around the third week in March.

    It was Osborne wot won it. He put us in our place.

  139. Les Wilson says:

    I watched all the sky channels while staying in France. You could also buy a Freeview version of Sky there. So what is the problem? It will be the same everywhere.

  140. tartanfever says:

    Holy crap, how patronising is this !

    On BBC2 tonight at 9pm.

    ‘Mind the Gap: London vs The Rest’

    ‘While much of the UK still struggles after the financial crash, London is thriving like never before. In the first of two programmes, Evan Davis explores the economic forces that are polarising Britain and asks what the rest of the country can learn from London’s success.’

    In other words, the rest of the UK – you’re shit.

  141. caz-m says:


    Did you see that trend I put in a moment ago regarding the poll movement. YES moving from -9 to -25 within the last couple of weeks.

    I mean this is all just utter bullshit and it might be STV waisting it’s money but they still get that shit out on teatime news.

  142. Edward says:

    Little old Norway doesn’t seem to be short of programming

  143. Dan Huil says:

    Stupid question alert. Did I read correctly, a few months ago, that at least one poll company will only be asking the exact same people about independence right up until September?

  144. Papadox says:

    If you think the polling companies are a wee bit iffy just Waite till we see the results of the referendum. Truly believe we should have international monitors involved in this referendum after all we are witnessing how the mother of parliament and friends perform. Not very reassuring.

  145. wingman 2020 says:

    Millions in EU funding and a 100,000 a year pension for Patten.

    Not another penny will this institution get from me. I’d rather go to jail first.

  146. wingman 2020 says:

    @tartanfever… thats looking like one of these programmes that will make us crazy.

  147. CletusIRL says:

    @ Oisin:
    Irish digital terrestrial receivers can pick up the older spec UK digital signal, but not usually vice versa unless they’re newer receivers. UK terrestrial broadcasts can still be received in pretty much most areas as before. For everywhere else that couldn’t traditionally receive free UK TV, free-to-air satellite reception is available. I have a combination Hailview/satellite system myself, so I can receive digital terrestrial Irish TV and free-to-air UK TV by satellite using one box. They didn’t go ahead with the subscription based terrestrial service in Ireland in the end.

  148. Vulpes says:

    Not forgetting the BBC then goes cap-in-hand to the government for another £8-15 million hand-out for making Gaelic language programs.

  149. caz-m says:

    As for paying the BBC money after independence to watch their programmes. I would bet a good economics negotiator would get any payments down to a very small fee.

    If you think of what Scotland would have to offer the BBC. It could charge for access to locations or the selling of Scottish plays, movies, documentaries and a whole host of other things that would be sold back to the BBC.

    I would put any final payment made to the BBC for their programmes at a very low percentage of the Scottish license fee.

  150. oldnat says:


    No pollster knows how to deal with a referendum, so different methods produce higher or lower Yes/No votes. The only comparison for this poll is with their last one in December. The change is minor (Yes vote down by 2%, which might just be sampling error).

    Comparing different pollsters is comparing apples and bananas.

  151. scottish_skier says:

    caz-m says:
    Did you see that trend I put in a moment ago regarding the poll movement.

    All that’s happened is we’ve had a couple of dung pile polls chucked our way in the form of Yougov and MORI. These two are outliers due to methodology problems and have been for many years. MORI is the worst of the lot.

    I hope BT get all excited as when the next batch of ICM/Panelbase/TNS/Angus Reid etc they’ll find themselves slightly deflated…

  152. Colin young says:

    My TV licence inspector who has visited me three times over the last 8 years has cancelled my need for a tv licence as i use my tv as a PC monitor also the rooftop ariel is not connected so it lies on the floor next to the tv.

    He seems to be satisfied that i watch iplayer for any tv i require which is next to none i get nausea from it..

    Live broadcast requires a licence, iplayer is not live broadcast.

    The BBC last year or more had to create a WATCH LIVE button on the iplayer site if you click it and do not have a licence it warns you not to view.

    I live on my own so it was an easy decision to dump the tv.

  153. twenty14 says:

    @ Lindsay – shoo !

  154. Croompenstein says:

    Where the fuck are STV polling Bearsden and Milngavie? Holy Fuck choked on ma tea with that one !

  155. Edward says:

    Link please on STV polling Bearsden and Milngavie

  156. SquareHaggis says:

    Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we did way with TV altogether? Imagine (key word) how much more fulfilling actual living would be without it.

    Bye Bye Claustrophobia = BBC

  157. mogabee says:

    Just to put my situation out there!

    I receive BBC etc. from Ireland via freeview and live in Argyll. I have an indoor roof ariel.

    So therefore I don’t watch said BBC and don’t miss it. There are plenty other crap stations to watch…!

  158. Alba4Eva says:

    Colin Young. I stopped paying the TV licence in November. They sent me a letter saying that my DD was paid up until the end of May 2014 (im somewhat disappointed at that). But in May, I will be sending them a letter stating that I am removing their implied right of access. No private company has the right to enter my property/home with no evidence of there being any viewing of live broadcasts. This is a human rights issue and my right to privacy. Privided I know that I am doing no wrong, watching no live broadcasts and breaking no laws, then there is zip that they can do about it.

    They might send goons around with an alledged ‘Search Warrant’… the small print on this warrant however effectively states that you retain the right to refuse entry and they cannot force entry. Ask to see the sheet of paper (they will likely refuse, because they do not want you to see the small print).

    Know your rights.

  159. Edward says:

    Thanks Croompenstein , but there is no mention of the poll be conducted in Bearsden and Milngavie
    or am I missing something?

    I wouldn’t be surprised it had been, but in order to through a grenade into the no campaign rhetoric, we need tangible fact

  160. liz says:

    I teach part time in a college and 7 students were discussing indy in class – one was a passionate Yes after being converted by another student who is apparently doing his bit in the college providing info.

    Three didn’t say and the the other 3 were noers.

    I was listening but didn’t want to butt in as we are supposed to be neutral, however they asked me what I thought and I made it quite plain that I did not want to influence them but said I was 100% Yes.

    They started asking me why – I kept repeating that I could not influence their decisions but very quickly got rid of a couple of whoppers:

    No BBC – mentioned service provider will supply it.

    Also mentioned they need to watch out as possible (very likely)introduction of £9,000 tuition fees – they were all shocked at that one.

    One in particular was very suspicious about how we could afford to be indy – suggested they read BfS. mentioned the excess 4.4 billion we send to WM.

    Finished by saying they need to read on-line as BBC pro-establishment and therefore had an agenda.

    So there are still a lot of uniformed folk out there.

  161. Jim says:


    You open up an idea! Why don’t we abolish the BBC in Scotland, take the £320 million quid that it’s fleecing us of and give it to STV/Grampian/Borders which becomes our national broadcaster under a federal relationship with national and regional news/current affairs being broadcast by all three? They can then supplement their licence fee income with advertising and we will have one major Scottish TV channel.

  162. a Supporter says:

    Churm Rincewind

    FFS we are talking pennies here in the context of a new Independent country. Who cares if we have BBC TV Its programmes are crap and if we did want them they are available on satellite TV. I NEVER watch BBC nor STV because apart from the crap programmes I’m not interested in London and SE England local news which is what the main news churns out.

  163. Edward says:

    One thing is for sure, STV will have to really get its act together in an independent Scotland as it will be competing very very hard against a Scottish national broadcaster, that really will not be restricted in what it buys or commissions in the way of programming. Instead of the paltry £ 100 or million, it will have over three times the amount of money that BBC Scotland currently gets. The new national broadcaster can buy what ever it wants, from any broadcast provider.

  164. Robert Peffers says:

    Well as far as Radio Scotland is concerned we could well do without the Auld Wifies they keep putting on. Naw! I’m not talking about Call Kaye with the wan e’e, Shereen an yon lot. I meant such as Fred the Collie, Tam Cowan, Stuart Cosgrove and so on.
    Q: How many, “F”s in Murphy?
    A: A’h dinna ken. Ah’ll ask Pete Wishart.

  165. Ivan McKee says:


    As we know different polling companies have different methodologies so need to look at the previous polls from the same company to see the trends.

    Here are the last 4 polls from Ipsos Mori

    March 2014 (This one) : Yes 32% ; No 57%
    Dec 2013 : Yes 34%; No 57%
    Sept 2013 : Yes 31%; No 59%
    May 2013: Yes 28%; No 57%

    (In fact if what Oldnat says above is correct then when the fact that the Don’t Knows have heavily moved towards Yes is factored in then this result is about the same as the December one)

    Over on Scot Goes Pop James Kelly keeps a running total of the poll of Polls, this result will probably move the No lead up by about 0.3% to around 14.3%.

    Looking at the bigger picture the No lead has come down from more than 20% in September to around 14% in January and has hovered around 14% through Jan and Feb.

    So despite the coordinated scare stories around currency, Standard Life, BP, RBS, EU etc from Westminster the Yes vote has held firm over the past few weeks at around 42% (excluding Don’t Knows).

    Interestingly this is in contrast to the picture last spring where a similar coordinated offensive saw the Yes vote take a dent from around 37/38% (excluding Don’t Knows)down to around 35%.

    So as expected the scare stories lose their potency the more they get used.

    We’ve still got a lot of work to do, bit we’re in a much better place than we were 3 or 4 months ago, and they know it.

  166. Croompenstein says:

    @Ivan – are you on the big debate at Irvine HAC on Friday?

  167. Calum Craig says:

    Re the BBC. I nearly drove off the road earlier when they broadcast a positive report about the Yes campaign on Newsdrive (about 17:20ish). I kept waiting for the dismissal/ balancing comment from the other site… and it didn’t come!

    My faith in the organisation was shortly renewed though when they played a report talking about how Nicola Sturgeon had ruled out the “devolution proposals off all three major UK parties”. What proposals exactly?? Did I miss the news that Labour actually agreed on the colour of shite and had announced something?

    Have to admit it was very sly- to the casual listener not read up on such issues it would sound like the SNP had rejected a series of (implied reasonable) offers for “devo more” and thus perpetuates the image of their belligerency.

    As noted earlier in the thread (multiple times), the sooner we are shot of the BBC the better.

  168. Churm Rincewind says:

    @ tartanfever: I completely agree that an independent Scotland could buy in BBC-produced programming from the BBC in exactly the same way that (say) RTE in Ireland does, or indeed any other non-UK broadcaster anywhere in the world. So far, so good.

    However, the BBC cannot, and does not, license its channels as broadcast in the UK to non-UK territories (which would presumably in the event include an independent Scotland).

    There are two reasons. First, because the rights they own in acquired programmes are contractually limited. Family Guy, for example, is not available to viewers outside its regular transmissions on BBC3 and is strikingly missing from BBCiPlayer, presumably because its owners have declined to make those rights available to the BBC. And I would doubt whether its owners would agree that an independent Scotland was covered by its existing BBC agreements. Why would they? They’re more likely to take the view that Scotland is a separate country and must pay separately for broadcast rights. Which is fair enough.

    My point here is that the Family Guy broadcast rights in an independent Scotland would lie in the hands of the owners, not the BBC, and would preclude the BBC from licensing the entirety of BBC3’s output to another sovereign state. Which is why they don’t.

    You also say that “…the claims about difficulties regarding actors and such like that Churm Rincewind mentions are completely false. If what he claims were the case, the BBC would not be selling any of its programmes abroad…all BBC contracts cover world broadcasts until the end of time ( seriously, they do)”.

    Seriously, they don’t. All non-UK broadcast exploitation of BBC in-house production is subject to the underlying rights I mentioned. What actually happens is that the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, takes a view about whether the potential income of any given programme justifies the costs of clearing the underlying rights, on an entirely commercial basis. Some they do, and some they don’t, and as a result only a fraction of the BBC’s in-house output is made available outside the UK (or in the future rUK).

    Consequently, only a selection of BBC in-house programmes would be available for TV transmission in an independent Scotland. You may have noticed that the BBC responded swiftly to Maria Miller’s comments, saying that in the event of Scottish independence the supply of programming would be a commercial not a political decision. Which I believe is the correct position.

    However, I’m distracting myself from the main point I want to make, which is that in an independent Scotland we can make our own decisions. I can never quite understand the argument from the “yes” camp that nothing’s going to change.

    If so, what’s the point of independence?

  169. Morag says:

    Is something strange happening to this thread? I could swear at least one and possibly two posts mentioning TV in Norway have disappeared.

    One said that Norway was geographically large with an urban population in the south and many scattered communities further north. That TV coverage was good and that people used to the BBC would be envious of the range of programmes. Another, I think, referred to this post.

    Am I completely hallucinating?

  170. Martin Sinclair says:

    I would be happy with a Scottish licence fee. I would prefer that the excess money be put into sport. Once we can increase the quality of our sport we can then export that product to the world. Not to mention bringing through a whole new generation of youngsters, using top of the range facilities, getting proper nutritional advice and who knows, we might make an international tournament again

  171. Edward says:

    Morag – Your not hallucinating, it was my post and its disappeared!
    Not sure why, perhaps Rev Stu can throw some light on this

  172. Morag says:

    I have noticed the occasional post vanish which Stu obviously deleted, for example there was one which contained death threats. However, I don’t think there was anything like that in your post.

    Did you forget the paragraph breaks? If so, I didn’t notice. I was reading it, and it was the last one on the page so I clicked on refresh and it had gone.

    Do you remember if you put in proper paragraph breaks?

  173. Edward says:

    Morag – I was sure that there were paragraph breaks, but as to be honest if the post has been deleted, then there is no way of telling.
    But without knowing what am I supposed to think other than what is the point of contributing, as I feel that I’m wasting my time contributing, just to have it deleted.
    Perhaps Stuart can advise

  174. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Gerry Parker (5.39) –


    I’ll spare you my biased reporting on the Ayr meeting. The SSP Facebook will have the vid up in a couple of days, but no doubt some snaps will surface sooner than that.

    It was superb.

  175. W.E says:

    The thought of independent Scottish movie studio makes me positively giddy like a schoolgirl. Scotland wanted to pursue cinema ever since Braveheart put Scotland on the map…. alas, it never really came together as all movie money is pumped southwards towards London.

    Ah, Scottish cinema…

  176. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Morag – I was sure that there were paragraph breaks, but as to be honest if the post has been deleted, then there is no way of telling.”

    There weren’t. That’s why we have a preview box below the comment box. You must surely be able to see that your comment above doesn’t have spaces between the paragraphs. I’d explain every individual deletion, but I’ve said it about a billion times already and I just can’t keep repeating myself or I’ll have some sort of seizure.

  177. Morag says:

    OK. I was half-way through reading it with some interest, when I clicked on refresh and it was gone. I had literally no idea why and wondered if the DDoS had entered a new phase.

    At least it’s explained now.

  178. Edward says:

    Thanks Stuart for that clarification
    Yes there is the preview
    Admission – I didn’t look at the preview as its below the frame – yes I should have scrolled down, I didn’t

  179. Morag says:

    Edward, if that last line in your most recent post is meant to be a separate paragraph, then I have to tell you you are not putting in paragraph breaks. This will incur the wrath of the Rev.

  180. Morag says:

    Cross-posting, I meant the post before that.

    But again I see a bunch of single carriage returns. This may not bode well.

    The benign dictator has spoken, use two carriage returns. Humour him.

  181. Edward says:


    Point taken

    I will use double carriage returns

    Hopefully that will placate Stuart

  182. Morag says:

    There have been worse examples, and I’m not convinced this is the best way to deal with the problem, but this ain’t a democracy so best toe the line, really.

  183. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I will use double carriage returns

    Hopefully that will placate Stuart”

    There we go. Phew!


  184. Jim says:


    Do you not realise that you are annoying people with your feelings of superiority of language?

    It really does reduce serious debate and I can’t imagine it winning any votes.

    You sound like a groupy – should that be ie?

  185. kalmar says:

    and still have an extra £20m sitting in the coffers.

    Am I completely insane?

  186. Steve says:

    Funny I’m in Canada and I can still watch BBC programmes, If not on BBC Canada I’ll stream them on-line. What exactly are we missing half the time anyway?

    I hate being forced to pay a license in the UK for 5 channels that don’t even strive to have quality programming anymore and then for them to take their ‘crowd funded’ content and sell it on commercially to other countries or back to us as DvDs.

  187. kalmar says:

    I can listen to all of the BBC radio output over the internet (without doing anything dubious) everywhere I’ve been with the exception of mainland China. You do NOT need a TV license for this.

    And a surprising number of places have BBC TV channels on their cable or DTV networks – I was in Iceland last month and they have BBC 1 and 2 there apparently.

    Here in Hong Kong they go one better, there’s a couple of BBC Asia channels made for the region which are sort of boiled down “best of” content without the utter dross that makes up 90% of the airtime normally, and I’ve seen Channel 4 productions show up on the local English language TV channel.

    This is routine stuff so it’s completely unimaginable that we wouldn’t get or couldn’t afford a *better* selection than what Scotland is currently offered.

    iPlayer is the only thing where you might validly say there might be an interruption, and there’s no reason we couldn’t seamlessly transition to a Scottish subset of that service, other than cutting-nose-off politics.

  188. Gin says:

    Thanks for that STV MORI poll analysis. I’m no expert on any of the methodology, so your rapid de-bunking certainly helps!

    The table on page7

    should have been concerning if they were testing their numbers. It appears to show that even after weighting ajustment that their samples across what they have titled “Affluence of Area 20% Zones” has a split of the 779 certain to vote as 110; 132; 134; 177; 165. This appears to me to indicate that the sample has only 61% of the least affluent half of Scotland certain to vote, but 81% of the most affluent half. A 20% discrepency here given the high correlation they identified between voting no and affluence should have been a red flag in my mind.

  189. Morag says:

    Jim, who is “people”?

    I was confused because a post seemed to have vanished. Only while I was discussing it did it occur to me that it might have been deleted by Stu because of his obsession with paragraph breaks.

    I didn’t have a problem with the formatting, but Stu did. Stu was the person who deleted the post. I only realised what had happened. So don’t shoot the messenger.

  190. bald eagle says:

    is blue peter still on the bbc

    I have’nt finished my tracey island has anybody got any spare bottle tops and sticky back tape left over from their own tracey island

    get down shep

  191. Appleby says:

    Surplus money for the first year should be used for the biggest party ever. Now that would be entertainment value for my fee at last.

  192. bald eagle says:

    cheap sat dishes are f&^%$£g crap

    just bought one and all i get is 400 channels of every known
    relig faiths from around the bloody world

    tonight folks im going to be a monk later about 10 mins after being a monk i will be F&^%$£g dead worst fiver i’ve ever spent

  193. Ieuan Roberts says:

    As a Welshman I would like to congratulate you on your website and the sensible debates on here.The MSM coverage we get is so biased that we can only get true facts online.

    I did wish you all the best in the referendum, but now I hear all those No voters are going to emigrate in the event of a Yes vote.I’m worried they’ll all end up here, because they obviously won’t be able to afford to live in the SE of England.So long as you promise to keep them I’ll wish you all the best.

    Carwyn Jones was in the USA for St. David’s Day,but he didn’t take the opportunity to tell them they made a mistake going for independence.

    Nobody, including the English Broadcasting Corporation, seems to have noticed that Dr. Who is made in Wales,so if they won’t let you watch it we’llstop them watching it!

  194. an_observer says:

    @scottish_skier – why would you conclude that people born in England but living in Scotland would automatically vote No?

  195. Gin says:


    I dont think ss concluded anything about individuals.

    However, a poll is intended to provide a statistical representation of the picture for the whole voting population. So these kind of anomalies can have a suprisingly large impact on projected results. It is commonly why different polling orgs have significantly different success in their projections, depending on how well they can reduce any error causing variants within the polled sample. Its also why they can be good with one type of group but exceptionally poor with others.

  196. TroonUnionist says:

    Irish free to view TV DOES NOT include BBC TV channels. This is only available through additional premium Satellite or Cable services. This argument regarding continued BBC coverage in Scotland relies on yet another cost of living increase which will be burdened upon the citizens of Scotland after the Yes vote. I have found a number of sources which state Irish citizens are extremely unhappy with their countries offering of TV/Radio services which is why the majority of Irish citizens require a satellite or cable feed to satisfy their needs.



    BUDGET OF BBC SCOTLAND IN 2016/17: £86m

    – If this figure is correct then the BBC Scotland division only equates to 2.35% of all BBC services which form part of the license fee.
    – As a license fee payer, I am paying for a lot more services than just BBC Scotland, much of which is produced in other parts of the UK.


    – This is a non-argument as BBC channels are not broadcast over free to air channels in Ireland. Perhaps this is related to limited programming being purchased from the BBC for rebroadcast on Irish stations RTE?


    – A Completely flawed argument and not relevant to the current system at all. Unless I am seriously misunderstanding this article it seems to be a very pro nationalist and biased article with distorted facts and figures throughout.

    Also would anyone care to speculate about the future of the BBC orchestras, in particular the Scottish Symphony orchestra if the BBC is broken up? The variety and diversity of performing ensembles is an asset we still have and will continue to have with a No vote. #bbc #bettertogether

  197. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Irish free to view TV DOES NOT include BBC TV channels.”

    Yes it does. It’s included in free-to-air packages if you have a satellite/digital receiver. A subscription is not required.

  198. tartanfever says:

    Troon unionist says:

    ‘This argument regarding continued BBC coverage in Scotland relies on yet another cost of living increase which will be burdened upon the citizens of Scotland after the Yes vote.’

    Ehh – where does it say that ? Is there a report with verifiable studies etc that I can look up online ?

    Or is it just something you made up ?

    I’ll tell you one area that would vastly benefit from a Scottish Public Broadcaster – Football. Our current BBC Scotland deal is so embarrassingly small that they won’t publish how much they spend on tv rights. Compare that to the big fanfare made over coverage of the EPL and the vast amounts spent on that.

  199. Richard Sullivan says:

    UPC and Sky Ireland include British tv and radio channels in their packages free of subscription.Suscribers pay for encrypted channels only.All free to air British tv and radio is easily avilable on free to air satellite systems.

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