Extra £1m for BBC ALBA Gaelic broadcasting channel in UK spending round

MG ALBA has welcomed confirmation of an extra £1 million to be made available for BBC ALBA’s budget from 2015-16.

The funding increase, announced as part of the UK Government’s Spending Round this week, will be provided to MG ALBA to spend on the channel which it operates in a unique partnership with the BBC.

This additional expenditure will take the channel’s budget to approximately £15 million per annum, an uplift of around 7%.

Maggie Cunningham, Chair of MG ALBA, says: ‘The news of extra funding for BBC ALBA comes as a welcome boost for the channel as it approaches its fifth anniversary.

‘BBC ALBA has been a great success since 2008 and following its move onto Freeview two years ago, it has cemented its place as a vital part of Scottish broadcasting.

‘The challenge now is to keep developing new and innovative forms of programme-making and ensure that BBC ALBA viewers, who have been so loyal to the channel, have continually interesting content to keep them engaged.

‘BBC ALBA has received magnificent support from across the political spectrum since its inception and we thank the Chief Secretary to the Treasury for this additional commitment as well as the continuing support of the Scottish and UK Governments in helping us make the channel the success it has become.’

BBC ALBA is a delight – non-parochial, non-ghettoised, full of surprises with wonderful quirky programme that understands curiosity. It’s rare to see a forthcoming schedule for the channel without spotting several ‘must sees’, all of them on subjects you’d never have thought of but which immediately appeal to the imagination.

And BBC ALBA’s omnipresent reporter/cameraman, Andreas Wolf, is a superb ambassador for the channel, open, engaged, interested.

The channel fully deserved to be on Freeview and leads mot of its broadcasting peers in understanding that today’s audience is a well informed and questing one.

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3 Responses to Extra £1m for BBC ALBA Gaelic broadcasting channel in UK spending round

  1. Time they made some new programmes instead of the same old stuff that’s three years old. Sick of wall to wall trad music every other night plus when they do manage to broadcast a gem, it never goes on iplayer. Yet iplayer puts on the rubbish like Peppa pig in gaelic. Is the BBC too scared the occasional gealic gem too dangerous to broadcast lest we all become Nationalists!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  2. There are genuine reasons for what you describe – the people behind BBC ALBA have no reason to choose to disappoint the viewers.

    Firstly, its budget is small, and it is sufficient for approximately two hours of new material per day. It broadcasts for seven hours. So around five hours will be repeats, on average. The choice therefore with this budget is:
    a) to have output for only two hours, and no repeats, or,
    b) to broadcast as they do, with a mix of new material and repeats.
    Naturally – the option is for the latter.

    Secondly, on the iPlayer: Since digital broadcasting became possible, the contracts and agreements that the BBC and other broadcasters strike with artists and contributors is such that digital/ i-player/ repeats are permitted. Obviously the terms will vary – for example what payment is made. But fundamentally it needs to be legal. If there is no such agreement in the first place then it can become very difficult to get it retrospectively. So older content that is legally allowed to be repeated under certain circumstances may have no such contractual conditions allowing it to go on the iPlayer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Pingback: BBC Alba, Best Year Ever | An Sionnach Fionn

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