STV Glasgow is a city television station for Glasgow which went on-air on 2 June 2014, broadcasting to a potential audience of 2 million viewers in the west of Scotland on Freeview channel 23, Sky channel 117 and Virgin channel 159. The channel is also available to watch live online via the STV Player.
At launch, STV said the new channel would complement its current portfolio of locally-focused services on-air, online and on mobile, including the recently launched City Apps, which provide all the latest news, events, offers, pictures and videos for consumers in Scotland’s biggest cities.
STV said local TV represented a £1 million investment for the company and expected the stations to be breaking even within a year.
Like any new business there's a degree of risk and nothing is a sure-fire bet. But we have 50 years of television experience and we're bringing all of that to this new model of television, we know the area well and we think we know the audience well."
Ofcom announced the award of licences to STV for Glasgow and Edinburgh in January 2013. STV Glasgow was to be delivered in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University, offering students the opportunity to work in a live television environment.
STV Glasgow launched on 2 June 2014 at 1830 with its flagship programme, The Riverside Show, featuring live broadcasts from the West End Festival, a performance from Glasgow band The Shiverin' Sheiks and a celebrity chef who runs LA restaurant 'The Gorbals'. The first show also included a feature from new weather presenter Storm Huntley who had been to Rio ahead of the World Cup to learn about Tom Donohoe, the Glaswegian who introduced football to Brazil.
It was followed by Peter and Roughie’s Football Show. Other formats which debuted on the first night were My Life in Ten Pictures, with guest Lord Sir Willie Haughey OBE, and The Blether with Phil Differ and Raymond Mearns.
STV claimed the station's launch night reached 92,000 viewers in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, with an average peak time audience of 10,000. This made STV Glasgow one of the ten most popular channels within its transmission area that night. The audience peaked at 29,000 viewers during the The Riverside Show. Bobby Hain, director of channels at STV, claimed the performance was "very much in line with our expectations for the new channel".
STV also claimed that almost 2,000 viewers entered the channel's first competition and that The Riverside Show and #stvglasgow were trending within an hour of the channel going on air.
A survey conducted by ScotPulse on that night showed 52% of those surveyed watched the new channel and 80% of those who watched said they could watch again.
The Herald's TV reviewer, Julie McDowall, was critical of the first night's programmes. She described Peter and Roughie's Football Show as "just a radio phone-in where someone had perched a camera on a shelf", and The Blether, which put the comedians Phil Differ and Raymond Mearns together at a café table, as "a great idea but there were simply no laughs". However, McDowall, reserved her harshest criticism for The Riverside Show:
The Riverside Show was irritating nonsense. It's similar to other magazine programmes, such as The One Show or Loose Women or This Morning, but if you want a fluffy magazine show then just watch those ones. At least then you'll get famous presenters and big-name guests. The Riverside Show, being new and, crucially, being local, can't compete and so becomes nothing more than a Richard and Judy Tribute Band.
After its first year on-air, STV claimed the station had reached 1.6 million viewers since launch (78% of the transmission area), based on viewers who had watched for more than one minute.
- 'STV Glasgow TV station goes on air', BBC News, 2 June 2014.
- 'STV Glasgow launch night', STV press release, 3 June 2014.
- 'TV Review: launch of STV Glasgow made me think of sugar, Teletubbies and switching off', The Herald, 2 June 2014.
- 'STV Glasgow celebrates first anniversary', STV press release, 2 June 2015.