VIEWING figures for BBC Scotland have dropped by more than a third since the pandemic.

Fewer than one in seven have watched the regional channel this year, and the average time spent watching is just one hour and 24 minutes per week.

In 2020, BBC Scotland reached more than one in five Scots, and so, between 2020 and 2022, the audience has fallen by 38%.

The numbers are according to the broadcaster’s annual report for the year ending March 31, 2023.

The channel’s news programme The Nine has also had a poor performance, bringing in just over 12,000 viewers last Monday (July 3).

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One BBC Scotland insider told The Times: “There are nights when the programme barely registers as having any sort of audience at all.”

On the same night, STV’s News at Six brought in an audience of 321,000.

One former editor of the channel has said it is “looking increasingly like a dangerous waste of money”.

Professor Tim Luckhurst, the principal of South College at Durham University and a former editor at BBC Scotland and The Scotsman newspaper, said: “At a time when the BBC is under enormous pressure to maximise value for the licence fee payer, the BBC Scotland channel is looking increasingly like a dangerous waste of money.

“Surely resources which are being dedicated to the BBC Scotland channel would be much better used on programming which attracts substantial audiences in the UK and around the world.”

The audiences for BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal also declined, both falling by 3% to 17% and 53% of their potential audiences respectively.

Spending on Scotland-only services remained constant at £74 million, however BBC Scotland funding was cut by £2 million.

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A BBC spokesman said: “Like all linear channels, BBC Scotland has experienced a decline in reach but continues to reach more than one in eight individuals in Scotland each week.

“The channel is also a significant part of the BBC’s support for the wider creative sector in Scotland. The BBC in Scotland works with around 80 independent production companies, across TV, radio and online, and many of those businesses regularly produce programmes for the channel.

“Across all genres and platforms, our content successfully reflects Scotland back to itself while the broad range of news content across all our platforms informs and engages audiences across the country.”