S4C's agreement with the BBC: 'a big risk' to its independence

A language movement has warned that a new agreement between S4C and the BBC today is another step in a process that sees the channel taken over by the BBC.  The movement claims that the agreement means that the BBC will have a big influence on editorial and administrative issues at S4C. The agreement states: "The partnership should include, where appropriate, collaboration in the fields of technology; access to the iPlayer; developing creative projects; editorial issues; promoting BBC and S4C services; and operational efficiency."  

 Also, the movement is concerned that the agreement gives power and influence over S4C's service provision, with details in another agreement which has not been published: "S4C and the BBC intend to co-locate and share technical services for broadcasting and delivery of S4C Services and BBC services in Wales, at the BBC's new broadcasting centre in the Central Square, Cardiff. "  

 Heledd Gwyndaf, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith said 

 "For the past eight years, the BBC has been working alongside the Conservative Government in London to take over S4C. They want to build their empire further, despite the fact that they already dominate the media in Wales, almost exclusively. Under the plans in this agreement, over half of S4C's staff are going to work from the BBC office in Cardiff, the BBC will broadcast S4C's television signal, S4C's programs are on the i-player, and the corporation has taken S4C's drama output. Where does all this take us? The BBC will end up managing everything unless something radical happens 

 "S4C is supposed to be move to Carmarthen, they should move there completely. The so-called 'partnership' agreement and the co-location in Cardiff should be cancelled immediately, that is one way of trying to stop the British Broadcasting Corporation from having full control over our only Welsh language television channel."  

 She added 

 "If so many details have already been decided in this agreement, what was the purpose of the British Government's review of the channel? The timing seems to undermine the review. Ultimately, the only solution to this is the devolution of broadcasting to Wales: decisions about broadcasting in Wales should be made in Wales. "