Monday, October 05, 2009

"Crime and football" - pull the other one, STV

[Another rant - sorry.] STV's director of content Alan Clements has fessed up that dumping most of ITV's dramas from the Scottish broadcaster's schedule is all about money. He told industry trade paper Broadcast last week that shedding the likes of Lewis, The Bill and Doc Martin was saving STV £4.5 million. The company was cutting its cloth sensibly, making a profit while ITV posts losses.

Compare this to what STV said after refusing to show Lewis in March: "We plan to opt out of the ITV Network more frequently, taking control of our schedule and introducing more Scottish-produced programmes and acquired series that will hold wide appeal across the country. We will be rolling out more exciting stv programming initiatives in the next few months, which we hope you will enjoy."

Clements also admitted dropping The X Factor or Coronation Street was out of the question, while dumping factual shows saved too little money to be worthwhile. But not all of his reported statements hold water. According to Broadcast, Clements said: "We know what our audience likes - crime and football. We have to create a relevant and affordable and informative schedule for Scottish viewers."

If STV viewers are so fond of crime, why has the broadcaster dumped long-running police drama The Bill? Or murder mystery series like Lewis? Or favourite whodunnits like Marple? Or crime thrillers like The Fixer? If STV viewers like football, why does the broadcaster show so few lives matches? Pull the other one, STV, you're not fooling anybody with your feeble attempts at misdirection.

Here's the most telling comment in Clements' interview with Broadcast: "We have to create a relevant and affordable and informative schedule for Scottish viewers." One word stands out amongst all of that, doesn't it? AFFORDABLE. That's the real reason. Everything else is just window dressing, wrapping a kilt around content in a transparent attempt to please jingoistic numbskulls.

"What we are doing is good for us and good for Scotland," Clements reportedly said. Well, he's half right.


Tom said...

STV opted out of showing the FA Cup and England matches. BBC showed both in Scotland when they had the rights.

STV won't show any of Rangers' matches in the Champions League. Instead we'll get an English team in action on the Wednesday nights when ITV have the live coverage.

They've also went out of their way to ruin Champions League highlights by wasting a large chunk of their time showing the previous night's highlights at the top of the programme. No doubt their argument for that will be that it's in the viewers' interest cos it's Rangers highlights. Albeit over 24 hours after the game finished.

Letting you know who won that night's games before showing the highlights also beggars belief.

And I'm getting utterly sick of the repeated trailers for 'Fitz'.

Francis said...

Dude, you are so right. We sit in our living room cursing the STV so-and-so's who put their venal self-interest ahead of servicing the audience.

We've had enough parochial crime, don't want crappy football coverage and you can stuff Corrie and Cowell.

Thankfully we've got Sky so we can record ITV London.