VIEWERS would have to pay a licence fee and watch adverts on the SNP's proposed Scottish Broadcasting Corporation if the nation became independent.
Culture minister Michael Russell yesterday outlined a "mixed system" which would mean viewers paying a higher licence fee of £145, compared with £142.50 at present. They would also have to sit through ads that would help pay for programmes.
The proposed SBC would have a budget of £300million, based on licence fee cash raised in Scotland. But the station would have to raise extra cash if it were to rival the BBC, which has a £4.6billion income.
Unveiling the plans, Russell claimed splitting a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation from the BBC would increase choice for viewers.
The policy document said: "Independence would give Scotland the same powers to ensure choice in broadcasting as countries such as Ireland have enjoyed for years."
The broadcast media and television in particular is in a tremendous state of flux at the minute so I suppose anything is possible...
However, the concept of a "national" broadcasting corporation not only charging a higher license fee than the BBC, but also subjecting its viewers to advertisements seems a throwback to a much previous pre-internet age rather than the kind of cutting-edge media outlet capable of surviving in the 21st Century. And regarding that comparison with the choice of broadcasting available on the island of Ireland...I can only presume that Michael Russell has never had the pleasure of watching the quality of output on offer from the likes of RTE and ("Three donkeys reported running amok on Ballymacash Main Street")UTV.
So, on the face of it, not that great an idea- although I suppose, in fairness, we should wait for further details on the plan, which will be delivered if Scotland obtains its independence.