It is one of the three BBC national regions, together with BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Northern Ireland. Headquartered in Glasgow, it employs approximately 1,250 staff as of 2017, to produce 15,000 hours of television and radio programming per year. Some £320 million of licence fee revenue is raised in Scotland, with expenditure on purely local content set to stand at £86 million by 2016-17. The remainder of licence fee revenue raised in the country is spent on networked programmes shown throughout the UK.
BBC Scotland operates the regional variants of BBC One and Two, BBC Radio Scotland, as well as radio and television outlets— Radio nan Gàidheal and BBC Alba—which broadcast in the Scottish Gaelic language.
The first radio service in Scotland was launched by the British Broadcasting Company on 6 March 1923. Named 5SC and located in Bath Street in Glasgow, the services gradually expanded to include the new stations 2BD, 2DE and 2EH, based at Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh respectively. Around 1927, the new Corporation, as the BBC now was, decided to combine these local stations into regions under the generic banner of the BBC Regional Programme. Regional programmes throughout the UK were merged to form the BBC Home Service in 1939, and, with a break for the Second World War, national opt outs remained on the station and its successor BBC Radio 4 until the establishment of a separate BBC Radio Scotland in November 1978.
Television in Scotland began formally on 14 March 1952 using the 405-line television system broadcast from the Kirk o'Shotts transmitter. In the beginning all programmes came from London but some with Scottish content were made using an Outside Broadcast Unit. Eventually, BBC Scotland established the right to "opt out" of the network more and more. When BBC 2 arrived in 1964 broadcasts began in black and white on 625-lines PAL from the Black Hill transmitter. Television upgraded to colour in 1967 across the UK and in 1971 BBC Scotland's Queen Margaret Drive Studio "A" in Glasgow became one of the first studios in Britain to upgrade to colour.
In September 1998 BBC Scotland Choice was launched as BBC Scotland's first digital service.
For many years BBC Scotland has tried to increase the number of programmes it makes to be shown on the networks. This ambition was greatly aided by the move of BBC Scotland's headquarters in 2007 from Queen Margaret Drive to BBC Pacific Quay where state of the art digital studios were built and by the decision of the BBC centrally to move a number of programme departments, such as Children's, out of London.