BBC Two’s overnight barker – This Is BBC Two – hasn’t been updated in at least a couple of years. It’s using outdated branding and promoting shows that are no longer on the channel. Instead of their regional news, BBC One HD viewers in England get an apology caption.
Is there a better solution? We think so. And the good news is, the BBC built and own it.
BBC Scotland’s SCOTSUS mechanism (Scotland Sustaining Feed) which is broadcast on the BBC Scotland channel overnight and during the day when there are no programmes.
The software was written by BBC Scotland. It pulls in the latest news, programme schedule data and weather data from the BBC website and presents it on screen.
There’s also an option to insert a video window – which the BBC Scotland channel utilises to promote its programming.
For a short period following the death of Prince Philip, we saw the system operating minus the video window:
SCOTSUS runs unattended and is low maintenance.
Surely something like this would provide a better use of airtime in the two scenarios we mentioned at the start of this article?
BBC Two for example could use the text-only option, presenting viewers with the latest news, business news, sports news and weather, as well as BBC Two schedule information. This could be accompanied by the sound of BBC Radio 5 Live perhaps.
Twitter user @PATVOne1 produced a mock-up of a potential overnight text service for BBC Two, based off the “Prince Philip” version above:
And rather than putting out a dull apology caption on BBC One HD in place of regional news (English regions), why not have a version of SCOTSUS that presents the main stories from across the English regions – again, all pulled in directly from the BBC website?
SCOTSUS could be set up in an apps room somewhere and this could be fed through as a source that playout can put to air.
What’s not to like? It’s definitely a better solution than what we have currently.
PICTURED: SCOTSUS. COPYRIGHT: BBC.