Broadcasting Scotland Vision
Broadcasting Scotland is a new broadcaster for Scotland, producing programmes from a Scottish perspective, targeting audiences, inside Scotland and beyond.
Our mission is to entertain, educate and inform. We believe it is important that Scotland should have alternative broadcasters, trusted by viewers and which will provide quality original programming across all genres. We will produce new original Scottish programmes, working with young programme makers, helping them develop their careers in Scotland. We will partner with colleges and universities to provide opportunities for work experience and career development.
As an IPTV channel with a Public Service Broadcasting remit, we will provide both scheduled and on-demand programmes, free to view, which can be easily accessed via the internet. Our programmes will be available to view on computers, tablets, smart-phones and on smart-TVs. In time we hope to achieve sufficient growth to be in a position to move our output to the Freeview terrestrial platform, which will bring us to a wider audience.
Broadcasting Scotland plans to provide a full range of programming, including news, current affairs and documentaries, entertainment and variety, drama, music and comedy, suitable for all ages, which is aimed at audiences both inside Scotland, as well as a global audience interested in Scotland and Scottish culture.
Our business plan will see us developing a close relationship with our audiences and is aimed at creating a sustainable business model, which will support our future growth. It is important that our service will always be free to view and that we minimise any barriers to viewers accessing our programmes, however we do need to raise revenue and part of our business model is a supporter subscription which will offer additional benefits to subscribers.
We also intend to raise revenue through advertising, sponsorship, donations and other fundraising activity.
This is an ambitious project, but it is our ambition to be part of a new confident Scotland, comfortable with its own identity and confident in taking our place in the world.
Organisation and Structure
We are in the process of being constituted as a charitable company, limited by guarantee, governed by a board of directors who will be nominated on the basis of their experience and expertise in broadcasting, Scotland, Scottish Culture and civil society.
The day to day management would be under the control of a team of departmental directors under the executive control of a CEO. The management team would be hands on volunteers initially, the roles converting to paid employment when the number of subscribers permits. This same model of converting volunteer/placement jobs will apply at all levels as the income from subscriptions grows, ensuring the sustainability of the jobs created. If we reach our initial target of 35,000 subscribers, that will fund 35 hours or original programming per week (including scheduled repeats) and create 40 full time equivalent jobs.
Programmes and Content
With a limited funding to begin with, we will initially focus on making programmes which are less demanding on our budget. We will try to target as wide an audience as possible with a mixture of chat and discussion programmes, live and recorded music of all genres, live and recorded comedy stand-up and quiz programmes, culture and review programmes and news and current affairs.
As our income grows, we will seek to add programmes with greater demands on our budget including cookery, food and drink and lifestyle programmes and finally, when budgets permit, drama and sitcom. It will take time to reach this level, so we have to be seen to turn all our subscriptions to quality output, to maintain the support of those who have already signed up and to encourage others to get behind us.
We also have the ability to produce live outside broadcasts from festivals and events and we plan to develop this further.
At present we have one small studio in the centre of Glasgow, however, we have the space within the building to grow as we attract subscribers. Although small, the space is versatile and can be quickly reconfigured for a variety of programme types through simple changes to set and backgrounds including a green-screen virtual newsroom.
We have the ability to mix live up to 7 HD cameras and simultaneously record and stream live over the internet to streaming services or with some additional equipment to a DTT multiplex.
Of course, we also have the ability to film and edit programmes to upload for on-demand and scheduled broadcasts.
Staff, Producers and Partners.
Initially, Broadcasting Scotland will be staffed entirely by volunteers. At present, we are fortunate to have a very committed team made up of experienced professionals, younger professionals at the start of their career and students.
As our subscriber base grows, we will start to convert voluntary positions to staff/freelance/independent producer roles, with the aim of increasing the opportunities for employment in broadcasting in Scotland. This has benefits for all broadcasting and film production companies as it increases the pool of locally available skills.
Once we have reached to target of 35,000 subscribers, we will be in a position of offer 40 full time equivalent jobs, something, we feel will be a real achievement and an incentive for our viewers to invest in us and in Scotland’s future.
We plan to partner with universities and colleges to provide placements and work experience for students interested in a career in media production and journalism. It is our ambition to reserve a number of employed positions for an annual graduate entry scheme, offering 1 year contracts with the challenge to “make a name for yourself” as programme maker.
Making it Happen,
So how do we take Broadcasting Scotland from ambition to reality? There will be no surprise when we tell you it takes a lot of faith, hope for Scotland’s future and a belief in the charity of our supporters and in equal measure to those, a lot of hard work, day and night to put in place the infrastructure and facilities needed to make programmes, broadcast them and have the ability to attract and manage our subscriber base. We have set ourselves the challenge of setting in motion a virtuous circle and as the effort is rewarded by the support of our subscribers, the support of or subscribers drives our effort.
We have put what we need to get started in place, but to get the studio, broadcast equipment and the online platform where our viewers can watch up to the level that is needed to go forward, we need to find an investment of at least £30,000. That is why we are launching our Crowdfunder, so please support us and help us get our virtuous circle turning.
How Will We Use The Money?
Producing broadcast quality television programmes is a expensive business. As a small and agile organisation, there are things we are able to do to reduce our costs and make us more efficient, however, there are some very basic costs which we have to be able to pay for in advance if we are to be able to increase our output and attract the subscriber base which will make us sustainable in the longer term.
The first major cost is the basic cost of the studio and offices, without which we cannot function. To give us the space to market ourselves to a wider audience, we would like to be able to add an additional production office space and be able to pay for that for hopefully 12 months ahead. The cost of this is £12,000 a year.
Electricity is a major cost for us - we need to have servers and computers running continuously and our bill for electricity is around £2000 a year.
Satellite and internet access are necessary to enable us to broadcast from the studio and remotely from around Scotland. There is some negotiating on price to do here, but it could be as much as £8000 a year, but not less than £6000.
The next major cost is the IPTV distribution platform. We are exploring a number of options which will help us to be distributed directly to the widest audience via apps and smart TV. The costs for these services are looking to be in the region of £10,000 - £12,000 per year.
These are our most significant revenue costs and being in a position to pay for them in advance, would put us in a position where we can concentrate of growing our Supporter base to the point where the subscriptions covers these annual costs - anything above 500 Supporters is sufficient to pay for this.
We would of course like to be in a position to invest in new equipment; cameras, lighting, vision mixers and a whole lot more on our shopping list, but securing our basic costs will enable us to use some of our subscription receipts as a match funding contribution towards other funding sources which only cover capital and not revenue expenditure.
In short £30,000 will enable us to pay the bills to keep the studio running and enable us to broadcast for at least a year ahead, by which time we hope to be much closer to our target of 35,000 Supporters and producing 35 hours of broadcasting a week.