Scotland needs a more diverse media offering. It is therefore very important that following the announcement by STV Group PLC that it will close the STV2 channel at the end of June 2018, that the channel is saved from closure and re branded SBC.
STV2 currently have 5 local TV licenses issued by Ofcom covering Edinburgh , Glasgow, Ayr, Dundee and Aberdeen on freeview channel number 8 and on both Sky and Virgin Media platforms across Scotland. Revenue currently is reported by STV as £1.7 million per year but STV also reports it's running costs are £2.5 million per year with approximately 25 staff.
Local news programmes are a centre piece of the STV 2 schedule at 7pm but this has attracted very few viewers as this is the broadcast at the same time as ITV's mainstream soap Emmerdale. SBC would move the evening news to 6pm and broadcast a more popular programme at 7pm. Some cost efficiencies including lower cost premises and fewer staff will be needed but within a relatively short period it is believed that SBC will see an increase in audience and reach operational break even.
SBC would look to keep a number of the STV 2 programmes and enter a commercial agreement for the sale of advertising slots with STV Group. This will allow SBC to focus on building up the audience and develop new programmes for a Scottish audience.
The target has been set at £1 million to ensure that a offer to purchase the channel from STV will be successful but also leave sufficient capital to fund the change over to the SBC TV channel. A small management team will be recruited with modest salaries and programme making talent will be secured where possible. It is expected that SBC will work to train new talent on a ongoing basis.
SBC will be focused on delivering an attractive general entertainment service with a nightly professional impartial news programme. SBC would be looking to support Gaelic television programming and work with Scottish based production companies. Only if this project is both fully funded and is successful in purchasing the STV2 assets will donations be collected.