Now we know: stv seeks public funding, otherwise it might well reduce its provision of news and current affairs, since this is not deemed to be commercially viable.
The combination of the credit crunch, digitalisation and increased numbers of TV channels – together with the ability of technology to screen out spot advertising – is hitting the profit margins of ITV and stv. The resultant cost cutting has already seen childrens’, religious and non-news regional programming being reduced. In Scotland, the commercial pressure is on for stv.
But should the taxpayer put money into stv or ITV in return for specific genres, quality and quantity of programming?