BSkyB’s attempt to give Scottish TV viewers more local programming has flopped with the collapse of Sky Scottish, a joint venture with Scottish Media Group (SMG).
The satellite channel will fold on May 31 after revealing poor viewing figures.
The partners claim the channel proved Scottish audiences would like more Scottish programming, in particular more Scottish sports coverage. But, according to Barb figures on March 15, its top three shows were two episodes of the series Kirsty, with 21,000 viewers and 10,000 viewers respectively, and a football fanzine-style programme called The Celtic Park Hour, with 9,000 viewers.
The channel’s share of viewing was so small it did not register. Industry sources suggest that Sky Travel and the Computer Channel, both wholly owned by Sky, have similar viewing figures and could face the axe.
Donald Emslie, managing director of SMG’s Broadcasting division, says: “Sky Scottish has been a very valuable learning experience. The close working relationship we have developed with Sky stands us in good stead, and we are looking at other projects to work together on.”
Media Analysis, page 14