BBC Worldwide: by Nicole Jakubik


The BBC is a powerhouse. Even with a rocky past and lots of controversy woven through it’s history, the BBC has stood strong and has been a true model of how involved television can be with a community. While being a British company, the BBC still has it’s support for the other entities in the United Kingdom. With subsidiaries in Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, BBC takes pride in marketing to a wide range of demographics and citizens of the UK.

One of their subsidiaries, BBC Scotland, has gotten a facelift over the past few years. A station that caters to, of course, the Scottish, BBC Scotland has tried its best to integrate itself within the community. Before, they were stationed out of a tiny studio where collaboration was not as frequent because of convenience. After the move to a new facility, BBC Scotland now has an open ability to work together to create the best content that they can.

While they do create original content for the main branch of BBC itself, many of its shows are geared for Scottish viewers. The characters, storylines, and overall ideas of the shows are created for people dwelling in Scotland. And while their lineup isn’t as extensive as other BBC stations, the content created is still at the same quality.

Over in the states, we don’t have one or two major television companies, we have five. CBS, being one of them, has created content for years. CBS doesn’t cater to one main demographic, they appeal to many. With sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows, CBS has a wide range of content that appeals to many. Some of these shows are a format that was bought by BBC or created with a BBC show in mind, The Briefcase and Big Brother being two of them.

Like BBC, CBS has many subsidiaries. Many of these are specialty networks with a specific purpose in mind. CBS radio of course caters to those who still take the time to enjoy listening to actual radio stations as they go from place to place. Showtime features many show that contain content not necessarily suitable for family audiences. The CW hosts a lineup of shows that cater to a younger demographic.

BBC is a government-funded operation. With the television tax that requires every household with a TV in it to pay for service, the BBC has a very intelligent source of funding. Not all of the money from the tax is given to the BBC, but a large portion of it is, and some of that portion goes to BBC Scotland and the other subsidiaries. With this support, the quality of content across the board for the subsidiaries should parallel that of content created by the large center of BBC. With Scotland on the verge of breaking off from the United Kingdom and becoming it’s own sovereign nation, BBC Scotland has a lot to worry about in terms of funding. If the network is not governmentally owned like the rest of the BBC properties, then they cannot share in the profit from this tax. Thankfully, funding is also locally done and BBC Scotland would not go under right away. But the quality of content might not be able to keep up with the amount of content going out if Scotland were to break away.

CW on the other hand is funded largely through advertisements. Like most American television networks, the CW makes the most of its advertising space and sells products to the masses during commercial breaks. Some funding would come from CBS, but it would not be at the same level that BBC Scotland receives from BBC.

BBC Scotland also gets to follow the same structure as the BBC. While its online presence is not as prominent as BBC, it still gets to publish content in a format that tis recognizable to the masses. This helps gives the content credibility and is a smart marketing strategy to appeal to a large audience. If fans like to content browse on BBC England’s website, then they’ll like content browsing on BBC Scotland’s website. There’s even a tool on the site that lets you track with BBC Scotland shows re airing on BBC channels at any given time.

The same cannot be said for the CW. While there are many similarities, the CBS and the CW websites do not have the same consistencies with content browsing. CBS is a very bright website, and is arranged in a block format. Everything is integrated with one another. Content about news and sports fills pages, while the CW seems very scarce. The lack of consistency between the two companies that share the same owner is almost unsettling. If one were to decide whether or not to watch a CW show based off of the network’s online presence, I’m not sure that a viewer would be persuaded. Not only is the website dim with a black background (I’m assuming it’s meant to be energy efficient), but with the lack of content, the layout chosen doesn’t work. The CW may list times that shows are generally aired, but does not include a schedule that lists when reruns are aired or when content is aired outside of these given times.

BBC Scotland has a consistent stream of content being created, with a fairly consistent viewership. Fans of BBC watch BBC Scotland and the Scottish watch BBC Scotland. No matter what your favorite type of show is, if you fall under both of these categories, chances are you would mostly likely be a BBC Scotland viewer. The same cannot be said for the CW. The CW has it’s audience, the CW knows that, and they restructure and reformat content based on this audience. When one hit show dies out, they find a way to reformat the brand, and they resell it.

BBC Scotland has a history of being associated with a very reputational company. This has helped it’s content grow and become successful. If CBS had the same type of close relationship with the CW, maybe the CW would flourish in the same way.

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