New BBC channel attracts one in three Scots in first week

BBC Scotland chiefs say their new channel has already reached one in three viewers in Scotland.

The Nine is the flagship news and current affairs show created for the new BBC Scotland channel.

Bosses claims it was the third most-watched channel in Scotland during its first week of broadcast.

The final series of Still Game, a fly-on-the-wall documentary on Central Station in Glasgow and live coverage of a Hearts-Partick Thistle match have been among its biggest draws.

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The channel's flagship news programme, The Nine, and The People's News, a weekly show offering ordinary Scots the chance to have their say on the latest burning issues, have also been cited as strong performers.

A spokesman for BBC Scotland said: "We’re very encouraged by the start the BBC Scotland channel has made. It’s exciting and challenging to launch a new service for our audiences in a highly competitive market.

"Our long-term aim is to establish a channel that consistently delivers content for contemporary Scotland that resonates with our audiences and the feedback we’ve had so far has been very positive.

"Across its first week, BBC Scotland reached a third of all audiences in Scotland, putting it ahead of all other channels with the exception of BBC One and ITV.

David Mortimer, Managing Director of STV Productions, which made the Inside Central Station documentary for the new channel, said: "We're delighted that the first episode of Inside Central Station has been so well received.

"We welcome the BBC’s commitment to the creative industries sector in Scotland and look forward to continue working with BBC Scotland’s commissioning team."

The new channel, which was announced by director-general Tony Hall in February 2017, has been allocated an annual budget of £32 million by the BBC, which has created around 140 new jobs, including 80 new journalists.