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STV – at 60

Author:

Alistair Scott

Edinburgh Napier University, GB
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Abstract

 

This article traces the history of Scottish Television (STV) since it was first established as the independent television channel serving central Scotland in 1957 by charting the company’s landmark productions across a range of genres made for both Scottish and UK network audiences. By reviewing the previous studies of broadcast media in Scotland and surveying the archive of STV’s output, this article highlights the limited previous research on this topic and argues that the main achievement of STV is simply that it has survived for six decades despite the radical transformation of the broadcasting landscape across the UK. The article identifies four distinct phases during which STV’s management has pursued different strategies as a commercial broadcaster and compares the challenges that have been faced during these periods. It also examines how STV and BBC Scotland have competed to deliver public service broadcasting for the Scottish audience and assesses ways in which the channel has contributed to Scottish cultural life. The article concludes that in 2018 the company is at the start of a new fifth phase during which survival will depend upon innovation and expanded production to deliver programme content across new digital platforms and serve the Scottish audience in ways that reflect and respond to changing media consumption and audience viewing behaviours.

How to Cite: Scott, A., 2018. STV – at 60. International Journal of Scottish Theatre and Screen, 11(1), pp.29–50.
Published on 10 May 2018.
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