THE BBC has a series of deficiencies in its news and online services and its programming needs to be more reflective of what is going on in Scotland, a report has found.

Less than half – 48% – of people in Scotland believe the corporation is good at representing their lives through news and current affairs, the lowest proportion of any of the countries in the UK.

The figure compared with 58% of viewers in England who thought the BBC was good at reflecting issues south of the Border.

The figures emerged in a report by a body representing TV viewers' interests. It warned the BBC risks failing to inform audiences properly by carrying too many reports that have nothing to do with events north of the Border.

The criticism is contained in the annual review by the Audience Council Scotland which scrutinised the issue of whether the corporation is balancing the Scottish news agenda and news in other parts of the UK properly.

It warned that programming made in Scotland should be more reflective of Scotland.

The body, which advises the BBC Trust from the point of view of Scottish license fee payers did praise a step change in quality and range of TV produced for audiences in Scotland, with audience levels steady or improving.

BBC Alba, Reporting Scotland and River City were singled out for praise, but the corporation was warned of challenges ahead.

The council said there had been slow progress on implementing changes prompted by the 2008 King Report, which called on the BBC to make clear how different policies applied in the different devolved governments.

It adds: "The council believes that in carrying too many stories that do not apply in Scotland there is a risk the BBC is not informing audiences about important policy issues as well as it might."

On the web, it said there is a "disproportionate coverage of England-only stories on the UK page." It added: "The council was concerned provision for Scotland was not growing at the pace of the wider BBC service, and at a possible loss of distinctiveness when Scottish content had been integrated into UK pages."

The rising use of shows originally commissioned as 'opt-outs' but now on the UK network, up to 8% of the total, raises issues about the future of opt-out programming. the council says,

It says: "There may be a risk with such programmes that the focus on a Scottish audience is weakened in order to make them more suited for a UK audience."

The report praised some "high-quality" Scottish programmes, but added: "Members felt there was room for more programming reflective of Scotland."

Network TV spend in Scotland dropped as a result of fewer productions, though 'specialist factual' programming increased, and spend is planned to reach 10% in 2013. Shows such as Waterloo Road, which was relocated from Rochdale, are produced in Scotland.

The council suggested it would be useful for the BBC Executive to clarify a long-term strategy for the commissioning of opt-out shows. The report also calls for a clearer strategy for cultural coverage.

Ken MacQuarrie, director of BBC Scotland, said: "The past year has not been an easy one to navigate and we have had to take some tough decisions in order to make the savings required under the current licence fee freeze."

Bill Matthews, the BBC Trustee for Scotland, said: "I am pleased to see BBC Scotland has performed well for audiences. There has been some outstanding content across a range of genres, with our audience council noting a step change in the quality and range of TV for audiences in Scotland."

Reporting Scotland remains the most watched daily news programme in Scotland and Radio Scotland is listened to by a million listeners each week.