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Scotland plans new public service broadcaster

The Scottish Government will set up a new public service broadcaster called the Scottish Broadcasting Service (SBS), should Scotland win independence in its referendum next year. 

According to a White Paper published yesterday by the Scottish Government, the SBS will provide TV, radio and online services and will be established as a publicly funded broadcaster, working with the BBC in a joint venture.

The new broadcaster will initially be founded on the staff and assets of BBC Scotland and will reflect “the variety of our nation in terms of geography, ethnicity, language, belief, lifestyle and taste,” said the white paper – called Scotland’s Future – Your Guide to an Independent Scotland.

According to the proposals, the SBS will start broadcasting when the current BBC charter comes to an end on 31 December 2016. On TV, the SBS will launch a new TV channel and take on the responsibility for BBC Alba. It will also provide online services, including a catch-up player and news website.

Under the plans, the SBS will inherit a “proportionate share of the BBC’s commercial ventures,” including BBC Worldwide, BBC Studios and Productions and BBC News and of their associated ongoing profits. Scotland’s population share of those profits ranges from around £13 million to £19 million per year, according to the white paper.