The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore has welcomed the news Channel 3 and 5 are to have their licences renewed for another decade, subject to negotiations including levels of public service broadcasting.
The Channel 3 licences are held by ITV in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the south of Scotland, STV in the central belt and northern Scotland and UTV in Northern Ireland. The Channel 5 licence is held by Northern & Shell.
The DCMS decision means Ofcom will now be asked to start discussions with the licence holder on the cost and terms of renewals.
The Culture Secretary has written to the regulator and highlighted a number of issues to be looked at as part of the process. Research by OFCOM in the south of Scotland shows continued support for ITV providing the service there. However, under proposals advanced by ITV, viewers in the south of Scotland would not receive the same level of programming about Scotland as those in the northern and central parts of the country and the Culture Secretary has asked to see a way forward that addresses this issue for viewers in the Border TV region in Scotland.
The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said: “Renewing these licences is good news for viewers in Scotland as it gives the licence holders long-term security which will allow them to plan and invest in programming, which in turn helps our creative industries.”