BBC Scotland does get off the hook in not being screened as a commercial service in the UK. The future of the channel is very much secure when it has funding coming in from the licence fee. There will have to be other significant challenges facing it's future if it become's an eventual failure by the audience's standards. The theory about BBC Scotland is that it's meant to give TV programming which can give value to a Scottish audience. I don't think it will have that many struggles within it's reach of the audience within the first week. It is a huge job for a broadcaster to set up a new channel for their audience.
I suppose, after all, that is the point of the licence fee. If a commercial operator cannot make a financially viable outlet for this sort of programming but there is value in it, then that seems to me to be public service broadcasting. However, working out if there
value in it, if it is appreciated by the audience, is going to be key in working out if it's worth doing at all.
I still can't decide if this channel is a 'fair' thing. The obvious question that arises from a BBC Scotland channel is – where are the BBC Wales/NI/England equivalents. Perhaps these
already well catered for, in some cases by other outlets than a standalone channel (especially in the case of England, I suspect) – but it certainly might present a perception problem.