STV

STV is a television channel in Scotland. It operates the two ITV licensees in northern and central Scotland, formerly known as Grampian Television (now legally STV North) and Scottish Television (now legally STV Central).
The brand was adopted on Tuesday 30 May 2006 replacing both franchises’ identities. In 2013, STV won licences to launch local TV channels in Glasgow and Edinburgh. STV Glasgow launched on 2 June 2014, with STV Edinburgh to follow later in 2014.

Website: www.stv.tv



Programming

STV-NewsThe two licences still produce regional programmes, although the only difference between them is the respective news programmes and overnight output: STV News at Six and STV News broadcast separate bulletins to Northern Scotland (including an opt-out for the Tayside area), Glasgow & West Central Scotland, and Edinburgh & East Central Scotland. There is no STV South as Southern Scotland is part of the ITV Border region (Border being owned by ITV plc) and programmes are presented there under the ITV Border brand.

Emphasising the fact that STV is essentially one channel across the two regions, there is now a single director of channels (Bobby Hain – former managing director of Scottish Television), and a single head of news (Gordon MacMillan – former head of news of Scottish TV).
Terms in the renewed licences for both STV Central and STV North also mean that regional non-news programmes are shared (and identically scheduled) across both licences.

Although the stations are only required to produce 1.5 hours a week of regional non-news programmes (a single arrangement covering both North and Central regions), the chief executive of STV Group plc, Rob Woodward, told MPs at a Westminster briefing in October 2008 that the station would aim to increase its regional output from 2009 onwards.

Alongside daily regional news coverage, regular STV programming includes the nightly current affairs programme Scotland Tonight and rugby highlights programme STV Rugby. The company also produces many Gaelic programmes, some of which are now produced for the Scots Gaelic-language channel, BBC Alba, alongside archive material including Speaking our Language and Machair. On a network scale, one of STV’s most famous exports is the long-running crime drama Taggart, set in Glasgow.

The network’s range of programmes was dramatically expanded during the 1990s under director Alistair Moffat. Previous TV programming includes the serial dramas Take the High Road, Garnock Way & High Living, gameshows Now You See It and Wheel of Fortune, crime series Crimedesk with Bill Knox, long-running documentary series Weir’s Way, lifestyle show Room at the Top, and Glen Michael’s Cartoon Cavalcade, which lasted 26 years. Another of the station’s best-known programmes, Scotsport, ran continuously for 51 years until May 2008 and remains one of the world’s longest-running television sports programmes.


 

STV Central

stvThe STV studios in Glasgow were originally located in the former Theatre Royal in the Cowcaddens area of the city. The first programme broadcast by STV from the Theatre Royal studios was This is Scotland on 31 August 1957. In 1974, the company sold the Theatre Royal to Scottish Opera for conversion back to a full theatre and national opera house and moved into custom-built studios next door. The association with Cowcaddens ended in July 2006 when the station moved to new, smaller studios in Pacific Quay, alongside the Glasgow Science Centre.

In Edinburgh, STV converted the Gateway Theatre in Leith Walk into colour studios during the mid-late 1960s – a facility which proved especially useful in 1969 when a fire gutted studio A at the Theatre Royal, killing two firemen. The Edinburgh studios later became a permanent production centre for Take the High Road before being closed in the early 1990s to save costs. STV’s Edinburgh base now consists of smaller studios for local news and advertising operations. In April 2012, the Edinburgh operation was moved from George Street in the city centre to a new studio at Fountainbridge.



STV North

STV North’s Aberdeen headquarters moved to new smaller studios in the city’s Tullos area in June 2003, vacating a converted tram depot that had been used since Grampian Television’s launch in September 1961. Expansions to the Queen’s Cross complex were made in 1983 and 1987 – the former as part of a £5 million investment into the company’s technical facilities.

Around the time of the station’s launch, Grampian also established premises in Dundee, later moving to Albany House in 1980 and Harbour Chambers in 1998. In April 2008, a new Dundee studio for local news and advertising operations was opened in the Seabraes area of the city.

Grampian opened a base for local Highlands & Islands newsgathering in Inverness in 1983, situated in Huntly Street, which remains open today. A studio complex in Stornoway was opened in 1993 to accommodate the expansion of the station’s Scots Gaelic programming production. The studios closed in 2000 following the axing of the Gaelic news service, Telefios.

Grampian also established secondary studios in Edinburgh during the late 1960s from where some of the station’s light entertainment programming was produced. The studios were closed in 1969.



STV HD

stv-hdOn 21 April 2010, STV plc. announced their intention to launch an HD channel on digital TV, before the 2010 World Cup. The station launched on 6 June 2010, initially broadcasting on Freeview channel 51, from the Black Hill, Keelylang Hill and Bressay transmitters, and now broadcasts from all post-digital switchover transmitters in its coverage area. STV HD is also available on Virgin Media channel 113. The channel follows the launch of ITV HD, which became available on 2 April 2010 to viewers in the Scottish borders (who are served by ITV Border), England and Wales. STV plc. is currently working with BSkyB, Freesat and the ITV Network with a view to making STV HD available via Sky and Freesat as soon as possible. A test version of the channel was available free-to-air via satellite, but had to be manually tuned as it was not included on either the Sky or Freesat EPG.

Currently, STV HD is a single service across all of STV’s transmission areas, carrying the programmes (including news and advertising) as seen in West Central Scotland, with no regional variations available.
The channel was added to the Freeview EPG on 1 June 2010, followed by the Virgin Media EPG on 4 June.

In September 2013, STV announced via Twitter that STV HD will be available for the first time on the Sky and Freesat EPGs in April 2014, nearly four years after first launching the channel on Freeview and Virgin Media. STV HD was added to Freesat and Sky on 28 April 2014.



STV +1

On 4 January 2011, Freeview announced details for the launch of ITV +1, together with the possibility that both STV and UTV would launch their own timeshift services, STV +1 and UTV +1 in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively. STV later confirmed that it would launch STV +1 at 8pm on 11 January 2011. The channel is available to Freeview viewers on channel 33 and Virgin Media cable customers on channel 114. The channel is not officially available on the Freesat and Sky satellite services but may be manually tuned in. There are two regional variations of STV +1 on Freeview; one for north and one for central Scotland.

The north receives the Aberdeen based news and advertisements and the Central Belt service carries Edinburgh-based news and advertisements allowing viewers in the East who cannot watch STV’s 6pm & 10:30pm news programmes for the micro-region to watch the bulletins an hour later.



STV Regions

STV serves central and northern Scotland. Within STV, Scotland is split into two regions and four sub-regions. Networked and regional programming is the same in both regions, apart from regional news and advertising. Within both regions, there are further opt-outs providing sub-regional news and commercials.

STV North (formerly Grampian Television) is based in Aberdeen and serves Northern Scotland. The main news programme serving the area is the North edition of STV News at Six, alongside short regional bulletins (STV News) and a weekly news programme for the deaf (STV News Review). The main 6pm programme on weeknights includes local opt-outs from Aberdeen (serving the North East and Highlands and Islands) and Dundee (serving Tayside and North East Fife) on week nights. The two sub-regions also receive separate commercials.

STV Central (formerly Scottish Television) is based at the STV Group headquarters in Glasgow and serves Central Scotland. Two editions of STV News at Six are produced and broadcast each weeknight from Edinburgh (for Fife, the Lothians and parts of Central Scotland), and Glasgow (for Strathclyde, parts of Central Scotland and Lochaber). The two sub-regions also receive separate late night news bulletins and local commercials. Lunchtime and weekend news bulletins are broadcast from Glasgow across the Central region.
Altogether, the regions and sub-regions serve a population of 4,993,590.

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