BROADCAST regulator Ofcom is planning to impose strict quotas to ensure the BBC delivers on promises for the new TV channel for Scotland and to ensure it has a true national focus.

Proposed new licence conditions state that 95% of the output of the new BBC Scotland channel must consist of programmes made in Scotland and it must carry news during peak viewing times - between 6pm and 10.30pm.

Ofcom wants an annual minimum of 250 hours of its broadcasts during peak time to be "news content" - around 15% of the broadcasts.

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The regulator decided on new conditions over its news coverage, after the BBC provided evidence that the proposal will contribute to the delivery of public value, including through increased news provision and greater Scottish-focus its current affairs coverage.

"Having regard in particular to the public purposes of providing impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them; and to reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities of all of the United Kingdom’s nations and regions, we propose to include in the Licence a condition requiring [BBC Scotland] to provide the volume of [news] hours that the BBC has proposed," said Ofcom.

"Generally speaking, we consider that the obligations which already existed, and which we propose to revise... strike an appropriate balance between holding the BBC to account and leaving it sufficient freedom to fulfil its mission and public purposes in the most appropriate way."

Ofcom's plans outlined its quota plans in a consultation document two months after it gave approval to BBC plans for the new channel which will have a budget of just over £32m per full year and create 140 new jobs.

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Other conditions Ofcom wants to write into the Licence also include ensuring the new channels provide a "range of genres in its programming that reflects Scotland's culture". There is a similar condition for BBC Two Scotland which will be discontinued with the new channel launch.

It is further proposed that at least three quarters of the new channel's output must consist of ‘original productions’, an approach previously taken with BBC Alba and BBC Two Scotland.

BBC Two Scotland is expected to provide at least 200 hours of non-news programmes, including Gaelic language output during every financial year.

But Ofcom decided not to propose any conditions relating to Gaelic programming on the new channel, saying the BBC indicated it would not form part of the new channel.

It also ruled out imposing rules that ensure that repeats make up no more than 50% of the new channel. The BBC has already indicated that about 50% of the shows on the channel will be repeats.

But it has warned in its consultation paper: "Should we be concerned by any aspect of the [BBC Scotland] on-going performance, including the level of repeats, we do not rule out imposing additional licence conditions on the new channel in future, if we consider it is appropriate to do so."

The BBC had indicated that the new channel which is expected to go live in February, next year, would have a news programme (shown at 9pm on weekdays) covering "international, UK and Scottish stories, told from a Scottish perspective", with shorter bulletins at weekends.

It would feature shows that reflect Scottish life, including the opportunity to premiere some new comedy and drama.

The BBC has told the regulator the new channel would be broadcast from 7pm to midnight every evening. In addition, the channel would broadcast BBC Two simulcast from 12 noon to 7pm interspersed with ad hoc events such as live political daytime coverage - particularly First Minister’s Questions - and live sport. Daytime coverage would amount to no more than 150 hours per year.

HeraldScotland: First Minister: Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh

The BBC has said that the new channel is expected to work in collaboration with other BBC television channels, particularly to enable it to premiere some drama and comedy. This would enable the channel to meet its ambition to schedule a wide range of programmes in the interests of audiences in Scotland.

It has been proposed that the new channel will take the place currently occupied by BBC Four on electronic programme guides (EPG) in Scotland. BBC Four would move down the EPG to a less prominent slot.

The Ofcom consultation will close on October 10, 2018 with a final decision on the proposals expected by the beginning of 2019, and before the new channel launch.

A BBC Scotland spokesman said: “We welcome Ofcom’s consultation on conditions that should apply to the new BBC Scotland service and we will respond in due course.”

The BBC shared an illustrative scheduling plan for the BBC Scotland channel

• 7pm to 8pm – Quiz, lifestyle features and repeats.

• 8pm to 9pm – Pre-watershed documentaries, factual programming.

• 9pm to 10pm – Nine O’clock News.

• 10pm to 11pm – Drama, factual, comedy, acquisitions.