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Jul 13 2012

S4C HD channel to close this yearIt has been announced that S4C’s high-definition channel Clirlun will close at the end of this year due to funding.

S4C HD is currently only available on Freeview though there were plans for a Freesat introduction (Welsh region) which now won’t happen.

Clirlun costs £1.5m a year to run and with reported broadcaster losses of £6.1m in 2011, they have had to make some tough decisions for next years fund allocation.

Ian Jones, S4C’s Chief Executive, said,

The decision comes in the wake of the considerable reduction in our public funding. There’s no way of avoiding such a decision made inevitable because of the 36 per cent reduction in our budget in real terms.

It’s important we invest the greatest proportion of our budget in content in order to ensure value for money and in order to offer the best programme service to our viewers.

We hope to be able to consider different options for using HD on several digital platforms in the future.

S4C is largely funded by the BBC and with a freeze in the television license, there has been a knock on affect for all. S4C’s public funding has dramatically reduced from £101.6m in 2010 to £83m in 2012.

43 Responses to “S4C HD channel to close this year”

  1. Paul Says:

    No great loss – especially as it seems the rest of the country has to fund this. Now for the truly dire BBC Alba?

    Hopefully, the BBC will put its still considerable resources into funding more quality programming that can be available for the entire UK to view.

    I suggest that if the minority Scots and Welsh viewers really want programming in their own language, fund it through the commercial sector – which simply means it would never happen.

    Regards

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  2. patsy Says:

    Sorry Paul got to totally disagree with you regarding Alba. It has some very interesting programmes and it provides a very useful service. Why should these viewers have to suffer because of some peoples insular dislike of their national languages?

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  3. Andrew Says:

    Does this mean we’ll get Channel 4 in HD on Freeview in Wales now?

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  4. Colin Says:

    Paul said:
    No great loss – especially as it seems the rest of the country has to fund this. Now for the truly dire BBC Alba?
    Hopefully, the BBC will put its still considerable resources into funding more quality programming that can be available for the entire UK to view.
    I suggest that if the minority Scots and Welsh viewers really want programming in their own language, fund it through the commercial sector – which simply means it would never happen.
    Regards

    Typical English response. If I don’t like it, then it’s a waste of money and it shouldn’t be on. We Celts pay the licence fee and taxes too, you know.

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  5. Muzer Says:

    “S4C HD is currently available to hundreds of thousands of Freesat viewers who live within the Welsh region.”

    Er, since when?

    Pretty sure S4C HD has always been Freeview only.

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  6. Neil Says:

    S4C HD is only carried on Freeview HD (as Muzer mentions), there was talk of it coming to Satellite platforms but since the BBC took over running the channel I presume they’ve seen sense as viewer-wise it has very low figures.

    I was once told that some of their programmes would be cheaper to put on DVD and send to each individual viewer than to broadcast them. I think now the BBC have their foot in the door they need to crowbar the ‘Welsh hard-liner’ directors out of S4C and introduce some English language programming to the channel so as to widen it’s appeal a bit. Yes it will always be predominantly Welsh speaking and should be but some English programming, targeted at Welsh issues and the Welsh community, would increase viewers and ad revenue.

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  7. admin Says:

    Muzer said:
    Er, since when?
    Pretty sure S4C HD has always been Freeview only.

    My apologies, I thought it was already on Freesat, but obviously the intention to launch never happened, and certainly won’t now.

    I’ve edited the original article.

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  8. Shane Says:

    Me thinks admin is mixing up his Freeview with freesat. S4CHD has never been on freesat in HD.

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  9. Ian Vallender Says:

    hey admin does this affect sd S4c as well if not then this is a step backward. pitty they are funded by our tv license should have left the adverting as well.

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  10. admin Says:

    Ian Vallender said:
    hey admin does this affect sd S4c as well if not then this is a step backward. pitty they are funded by our tv license should have left the adverting as well.

    No, S4C SD will remain the same and might actually gain from investment for better content…maybe!

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  11. admin Says:

    Been banned from digitalspy for confirming some info on the Freesat EPG, gotta love that place!!! :D

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  12. monkeymaniac Says:

    I suppose if it was a Asian or Black speaking channel the Human Rights Lawyers will soon be on the blower saying you can’t do that, It’s abusing there rights & culture, then take legal action against the broadcaster.

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  13. Richard Crichton Says:

    admin said:
    Been banned from digitalspy for confirming some info on the Freesat EPG, gotta love that place!!!

    I don’t know why you bother posting on that site admin. Best thing is to ignore them as it’s probably a barker site for the dark side. Have you found out why Freesat is being so hush hush about the 24 Olympic channels. It seems to be a big secret.The whole Freesat thing seems to be one big secret they don’t even know if G2 spec boxes will support DiSEqC switching.

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  14. admin Says:

    Richard Crichton said: I don’t know why you bother posting on that site admin. Best thing is to ignore them as it’s probably a barker site for the dark side. Have you found out why Freesat is being so hush hush about the 24 Olympic channels. It seems to be a big secret.The whole Freesat thing seems to be one big secret they don’t even know if G2 spec boxes will support DiSEqC switching.

    Yeah, don’t know why I bother either tbh. They are supported by Sky (or use to be).

    Can’t get any response out of Freesat on anything at the moment, getting quite annoyed about the lack of communication. It is as if they are having a media black out!!! Promoting the Olympics would be you think priority, but having said that, Freeview (as far as I’m aware) haven’t promoted either, which would suggest that Sky have placed a condition of no promotion in return for paying for me!

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  15. Muzer Says:

    What info was that about the Freesat EPG? Curious to know…

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  16. Muzer Says:

    The Space has gone live on channel 908.

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  17. roger mellie Says:

    Completely agree Admin re- DS Forum, I couldn’t log on for over a month for no apparent reason. Its a Dictatorship!

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  18. admin Says:

    Muzer said:
    What info was that about the Freesat EPG? Curious to know…

    Was just saying that the existing EPG won’t change for existing G1 spec receivers (someone asked if it would) but will be different on G2. That got me a ban!!!!

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  19. Muzer Says:

    Oh, I saw that post, it was completely within the rules – how odd. I’ve heard of lots of cases of stupid bans for no reason…

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  20. admin Says:

    Muzer said:
    Oh, I saw that post, it was completely within the rules – how odd. I’ve heard of lots of cases of stupid bans for no reason…

    Yep, I guess I must be getting reported; anyway, I’ll not use the forum from now on.

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  21. Clive Says:

    Was it possible for there to be enough viewers (Who can understand it) to make this channel cost effective in the first place?

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  22. Chris Says:

    I an understand it! And quite disappointed that it’s not coming to Freesat as I can’t get Freeview. People in the office are lamenting its demise on Freeview HD as the picture qualtiy was so much better.

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  23. Neil Says:

    admin said: Yep, I guess I must be getting reported; anyway, I’ll not use the forum from now on.

    Unbelievable! It makes you wonder who actually moderates that forum, obviously someone without a brain! Either that or they are deep in Sky’s pockets!

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  24. MikeC Says:

    For what it’s worth, I agree with Neil in post 6. What fascinates me though is how someone can live in, or move to, a place that uses more than one language and not have, or gain, a working knowledge of the language they don’t normally use. I mean… would you move to France and expect everyone to speak English (or Welsh or Gaelic)?

    Interested in the comments about DS. Not so long ago I “resigned” my user-ID beacuse I was getting fed up it. Recently, I wanted to make a comment about something and they wouldn’t let me join again!

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  25. Paul Says:

    @ Colin

    “Colin said: Typical English response. If I don’t like it, then it’s a waste of money and it shouldn’t be on. We Celts pay the licence fee and taxes too, you know.”

    At no point did I say I did not like any of the Welsh content. I do however find the BBC Alba presentation to be staid, dated and of little appeal to me. I also did not advise that I was English.

    What is clear is that the Welsh HD service has been considered to be unsustainable in the current economic climate by the BBC now that they [we] have to pay for it as opposed to the previous funding [propping up] by the Cabinet Office.

    I am pleased to note that you, as I, pay your taxes and licence fee. But, if I wanted to see a “niche” interest channel, I would not expect that to paid for by tens of millions of others, I would be prepared to shake my wallet out and support it. All credit to the Asian channels and their subscription supporters. They get what they want and pay for it and not expect the rest of us to subsidise them.

    And on a final note let us remember that this announcement only applies to the Freeview HD service.

    Regards

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  26. Richard Crichton Says:

    Paul said:
    @ Colin
    “Colinsaid: Typical English response. If I don’t like it, then it’s a waste of money and it shouldn’t be on. We Celts pay the licence fee and taxes too, you know.”
    At no point did I say I did not like any of the Welsh content. I do however find the BBC Alba presentation to be staid, dated and of little appeal to me. I also did not advise that I was English.
    What is clear is that the Welsh HD service has been considered to be unsustainable in the current economic climate by the BBC now that they [we] have to pay for it as opposed to the previous funding [propping up] by the Cabinet Office.
    I am pleased to note that you, as I, pay your taxes and licence fee. But, if I wanted to see a “niche” interest channel, I would not expect that to paid for by tens of millions of others, I would be prepared to shake my wallet out and support it. All credit to the Asian channels and their subscription supporters. They get what they want andpay for it and not expect the rest of us to subsidise them.
    And on a final note let us remember that this announcement only applies to the Freeview HD service.
    Regards

    The who point of the BBC is to cater for niche audiences. The commercial sector caters for the masses.

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  27. Martin Says:

    Sorry but I agree I am welsh and speak welsh as well but there are menny born in Wales that don’t speak welsh but are welsh it should have been a bilingual service once it became apparent that the viewing figures where going down take the six nations for example walk in to many of our welsh pubs and clubs and the bbc is on not s4c I don’t think I v seen any pub put the games on in welsh on s4c. There must be one but I haven’t come across it

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  28. Neil Says:

    The thing to remember here is that S4C is now run by the BBC at commercial arms length. Personally I’d like to see them attract a higher audience share to reduce operating costs as it’s our licence fee it’s coming out of!

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  29. Rosco Says:

    Neil said: Unbelievable! It makes you wonder who actually moderates that forum, obviously someone without a brain! Either that or they are deep in Sky’s pockets!

    They use paid mods, which is almost certainly why the standard is so abysmal in the technical forums. Ive given up with DS mainly due to the terrible standard of modding on the site. On the tech forums they desperately need someone who knows something about the subject instead of folks who know the ins & outs of the latest reality show fad.

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  30. Fitzy Says:

    I’d like to know how many people would pay a subscription to S4C or Alba in order to watch them, yes the argument in defence would say those people in Scotland & Wales pay there license fee, but so do I !
    Now I love watching cycle racing & I’d imagine thousands of other licence fee payers do, but if I want to watch it regularly I have to subscribe to Eurosport.
    I wouldn’t expect the BBC to have to pay for the rights for cycle racing because the minority of people wished to watch it !

    It would be very interesting to see how many Scots & Welsh would actually pay for there MINORITY channels !

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  31. Richard Crichton Says:

    Fitzy said:
    I’d like to know how many people would pay a subscription to S4C or Alba in order to watch them, yes the argument in defence would say those people in Scotland & Wales pay there license fee, but so do I !
    Now I love watchingcycle racing & I’d imagine thousands of other licence fee payers do, but if I want to watch it regularly I have to subscribe to Eurosport.I wouldn’t expect the BBC to have to pay for the rights for cycle racing because the minority of people wished to watch it !
    It would be very interesting to see how many Scots & Welsh would actually pay for there MINORITY channels !

    Using that argument the BBC would have nothing on but kids shows, soaps, game shows, reality programs and news because everything else is a minority interest. I’m against paying extra for any tv as I already pay a licence fee or watch advertising to pay. That’s what really bugged me (note pat tense) about $ky etc you payed a sub but still got bombarded by advertising during the so called shows. In truth the ads were the best part :-)

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  32. Hroth Says:

    Ond of the reasons for my use of Freesat is that I live in an area of England where signal strength for English programming has always been poor.

    Back in the days of analogue TV, we could only get S4C and the sheer parochiality of their programming would make one weep. Bloody drama series like the one featuring a truckers cafe on the A55 and the infamous “Pobl Y Cwm” were incomprehensible and the constant eisteddfod broadcasts would make your brains dribble from your ears. Then there was the Rygbi and the Snewcer……

    Post DVB, English Freeview has very poor signal strenght compared to the Welsh Freeview. Freeview channels have to be manually tuned to prevent the stronger Welsh channels pre-empting English ones.

    I for one won’t mourn the disappearance of S4C on HD, perhaps they’ll do something sensible with the spare capacity?

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  33. Fitzy Says:

    So you would say some of the programs on BBC3 & BBC4 are for the minority ?
    Now I’d like to see the viewing figures for those two channels & compare them to the viewing figures for Alba & S4c.
    I don’t like sky either most of there channels are just repeating the same programmes, I get Eurosport on my computer & hook that up to the TV.

    I just feel that im sure there are religious groups & even other ethnic minorities in this country that would probably want a channel for there beliefs & languages.

    But the main language of Britain is English, the BBC are funded by the British English speaking public, in this time of economic hardship where the BBC are also having to make cuts, surely it makes sense for the BBC to concentrate there funds on making quality programmes for the general population rather than a small minority!
    If someone could show me the viewing figures for Alba & S4C & it proved there was a large majority of the public in Wales & Scotland watching them, then my argument would be flawed !

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  34. Martin Says:

    Fitzy said:
    So you would say some of the programs on BBC3 & BBC4 are for the minority ?
    Now I’d like to see the viewing figures for those two channels & compare them to the viewing figures for Alba & S4c.
    I don’t like sky either most of there channels are just repeating the same programmes, I get Eurosport on my computer & hook that up to the TV.
    I just feel that im sure there are religious groups & even other ethnic minorities in this country that would probably want a channel for there beliefs & languages.
    But the main language of Britain is English, the BBC are funded by the British English speaking public, in this time of economic hardship where the BBC are also having to make cuts, surely it makes sense for the BBC to concentrate there funds on making quality programmes for the general population rather than a small minority!If someone could show me the viewing figures for Alba & S4C & it proved there was a large majority of the public in Wales & Scotland watching them, then my argument would be flawed !

    The bbc is funded by the welsh Scottish and English British isn’t only English speakers we are a nation made up of different regions that s British England is part of it as is Wales and Scotland

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  35. Fitzy Says:

    Martin said: The bbc is funded by the welsh Scottish and EnglishBritish isn’t only English speakerswe are a nation made up of differentregions that s British England is part of it as is Wales and Scotland

    Think I said that in my previous post but what percentage of welsh watch S4C & the same for the Scots & Alba, if its the majority of there population its worth the money, but if its only a small minority that money would be better used on making English speaking programs we can all watch !

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  36. Martin Says:

    I shouldn’t think there s many the viewing figures where down its hard to tell with minority channels like s4c and alba as I think the over all viewing figures don’t get published like itv and the bbc I agree that the channels output is bad and not enoughf done to improve the program’s we do need to bring it kicking and screaming in to the modern age but I hope we don’t loose it because of the old school atetude that’s still very much there the only way I think it can survive is to make it bylingwel excuse the spelling

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  37. Richard Crichton Says:

    Fitzy said:
    So you would say some of the programs on BBC3 & BBC4 are for the minority ?
    Now I’d like to see the viewing figures for those two channels & compare them to the viewing figures for Alba & S4c.
    I don’t like sky either most of there channels are just repeating the same programmes, I get Eurosport on my computer & hook that up to the TV.
    I just feel that im sure there are religious groups & even other ethnic minorities in this country that would probably want a channel for there beliefs & languages.
    But the main language of Britain is English, the BBC are funded by the British English speaking public, in this time of economic hardship where the BBC are also having to make cuts, surely it makes sense for the BBC to concentrate there funds on making quality programmes for the general population rather than a small minority!If someone could show me the viewing figures for Alba & S4C & it proved there was a large majority of the public in Wales & Scotland watching them, then my argument would be flawed !

    I just don’t get your argument. There are lots of channels already showing programs for the general English speaking population.There is one little part time channel for Welsh speakers and the same for Scots Gaelic speakers and you want to close them down? Non English speakers pay the licence fee too so quite rightly expect to be serviced. The BBC is non just for English speakers.
    Anyway it’s only the HD service closing on Freeview so I expect 4HD will replace it.

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  38. ric smith Says:

    I regret to say when I scan regional TV output, whether it be Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or English Regional TV it tends to be pretty amateurish compared to national TV.
    The problem with the Celtic Channels is they are not broadcast in English (!!!!) and so it’s easier for 90% of the UK population to watch Russia Today, France 24, Al Jazeera, Indian & Chinese TV for a view of other cultures.
    It’s also interesting when touring the superb scenery of our Celtic countries and visiting the excellent cities you can’t help but notice anything involving money (B&Bs Hotels, Cafes,Shops) it’s all in English – they know what they are doing !!!! The more obscure old languages are forgotten where money has to change hands. I have learned what “Araf” means and also “Heddlu” but they’ve only appeared the last 15 years or so !!.

    Ah well. toodle pip for now……………………..

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  39. Chris Says:

    If signs were purely in Welsh, you’d be complaining that Welsh people are unwelcoming to visitors!

    I’d actually be overjoyed if English businesses catered for tourists by having signs in other languages,especially Welsh considering it’s actually a native language of the UK. I wouldn’t declare it a cynical money-grabbing move.

    Araf and Heddlu only appeared in the last 15 years?? I’m 46 and they’ve been around as long as I can remember.

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  40. ian Says:

    admin said: Was just saying that the existing EPG won’t change for existing G1 spec receivers (someone asked if it would) but will be different on G2. That got me a ban!!!!

    Oh wow. Ive been banned for what i have called a huge nothing, but you i think by a mile, win stupid ban of a lifetime!
    It gets worse there.
    Im pretty sure the mods have ones they like and ones they target for any reason to ban them.
    You dare not fart now or you get banned, as you have found out Admin!

    I wonder what figure S4CHD would have got had it been more widely available?
    DTT only is just plain stupid where-as a DSAT distribution would have made some sense and given it more of a chance.

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  41. roger mellie Says:

    Less than 2% of scots are fluent in scots gaelic, yet train station signage etc is been transformed into their gaelic equivalent name by the scottish parliament! How much is this costing? Apologies for going off-topic Admin. PS I quite like the odd programme on BBC Alba, some very good documentaries on other cultures i.e. Innuits etc, Alba has also shown live/recorded football especially the lower scottish league play-offs last season.

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  42. Nicholas Says:

    I watch both S4C and BBC Alba (TG4 too) and I live in neither Wales nor Scotland. Alba’s programming is often staid and dated as was pointed out by Paul. For example there was a documentary on the life in/on/around a Scots Pine tree last week, which, while somewhat interesting, was recorded in about 1994, and it showed. The Speaking Our Language series also from the early 90s is being repeated for the third time since I got my FreeSat box, but I still haven’t seen any episode number below 40. The proportion of 4:3 programing seems higher than any other channel in the UK, just as a rough guide! Alba has large amount of cartoons which do not look dated.
    S4C is a better managed channel, with a modern feel, programming like Cyw appeals to my children, and Stwnsh reminds me of No. 73 (7T3) and Going Live! from my own youth. There are too many Eisteddfod shows though, as someone mentioned. Why not put on the Manic Street Preachers instead? :) There have been a fair few “outward-looking” programmes on recently too, where presenters take viewers around the world’s cultures. There does seem to be a high correlation to cheese in this regard. As to Pobol y Cwm, I can’t stand soaps in any language, so no comment there.

    The loss of the HD channel may be a blessing in disguise, if it allows them to invest in programming rather than paying broadcast fees. I for one am glad both Celtic channels exist. I would love to see Alba get some serious/modern programming and broadcast in the mornings though.

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  43. Brian Damage Says:

    I quite like Alba – that is to say that I sometimes watch it, and the programmes are interesting/entertaining. I sometimes even watch programmes in a language I don’t understand.

    However, I’ve never enjoyed anything on S4C HD, nor S4C or S4C2 for that matter – though not for want of trying.

    Famously, S4C2 was reported as having an estimated audience of zero.
    Says it all really.

    Regional language channels are all minority viewing. Whilst minorities should be catered for too, it should not have been done by depriving the majority of the channels which they want to watch.

    So I’ll look forward to C4HD appearing on the Welsh transmitters next year, and perhaps the increased audience will allow C4 to consider additional HD channels in future.

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