« Topics
Torque
Hi.

I'm not actually from wales, but am currently a student at Cardiff university, so while I am here I get to enjoy the wonder that is S4C...

Anyone know much of the details as to why Wales has S4C as opposed to channel 4, and why this happened in Wales, and say nothing happened in Scotland regarding a Gaelic channel?

I find S4C a good channel personally, and although at first I only watched out of curiosity, I am now hooked on Pobol Y Cwm... which I notice has now got swish new opening credits...

I really like S4Cs presentation, and love the fire and the red thenee. It works really well. What do you think of the new schedule that seems to have started from today? Does Pobol y cwm not have a regular time now?

..............................................
Simon_Luxton
The theme is actually "dragons" - turning everyday objects into fire-breathing monsters! This very successful identity celebrates 10 years in March.

If I go ahead and cancel our Sky subscription, would I still get channel 184?
noggin14,544 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Yep - I think S4C Digidol (the all S4C with no C4 programmes) variant carried on DSat is FTV with a non-subscription card. At one point it was geographically/postcode restricted by default - though freely possible to have it added in other areas by ringing. This no longer seems to be needed.

AIUI S4C was created to carry both the BBC Wales and HTV Wales Welsh language programmes after considerable pressure was exerted. When C4 launched in the rest of the UK S4C launched in Wales (roughly the same time I think)

The Gaelic speaking community in Scotland is far less politically strong - they do have a BBC radio station - but there is far less emphasis on the language in my experience. You get almost universally get dual language signs in most places in Wales - on the roads, in public buildings etc. The same is not true in Scotland...
Ben3,284 posts since 5 Sep 2001
noggin posted:

AIUI S4C was created to carry both the BBC Wales and HTV Wales Welsh language programmes after considerable pressure was exerted. When C4 launched in the rest of the UK S4C launched in Wales (roughly the same time I think)


It launched the day before on the 1st of November 1982. I read an interesting article from a virgin train magazine last year about how S4C got set up and its plans for the future, I'll have to see if I can dig it out.
ozsat110 posts since 23 Dec 2001
DTT viewers in Scotland gave TeleG which broadcasts each evening - but only for one hour.

Also, S4CD on 184 would still be available without a Sky sub.
TVDragon2,799 posts since 4 Jan 2003
S4C~ is also funded by the by the Treasury, through the Licence Fee, and the BBC produces its news output and also many other programmes, notably Pobol Y Cwm. So indirectly, all licence payers are paying a small fraction of it for S4C~. About 3.

10 of its 32 hours of Welsh language programming [on Analogue] comes from the Licence Fee. Digidol carries 80 hours per week and runs 12 hours a day. Their idents are still my favourites, and it's incredible to have presentation that's 10 years old and still looks decent. Digidol still carries a clock occasionally, and it even closes down every night [the only terrestrial channel to do so] for an hour or so, with some nice music and info screens. Programmes are dodgy though, apart from Pam Fi Duw -- which has stopped now.

S4C~ is also the result of a lot of political action and demonstration [hundreds were arrested..!] in the 1970s, and it has been quite an important factor in the last two Welsh Language Acts, and perhaps will contribute to the increase in the number of Welsh speakers that I expect to be revealed in the rest of the Census information, to be released next month.

However, S4C~ [Digidol especially] is losing money rapidly. Its audience share has dropped quite a bit, and that's just the Analogue version -- that shows Friends, Frasier, Big Brother etc. The reason is that digital tv is just expanding more and more, and it's particularly popular in Wales, where people can simply watch the programmes at sensible times on the proper days on Channel 4. In the multi-channel world, a Welsh language station has a limited reach and can't easily grow -- and it's definitely showing. Pobol Y Cwm has been moved from 19:00 because of the Emmerdale competition, and now jumps about the schedule in order to reap the viewers back.

IMO, there should be a change of the law, and Channel 4 should be enabled in Wales [currently blocked "officially", but easy to get if you point your aerial], and S4C~ should be separate, completely Welsh, concentrate on making better quality output, and run for about 8 hours a day, say 4pm-12midnight. The kind of people that choose to watch Welsh language programming will do so whatever, so they'll continue to do so. Some Welsh people still don't have their TVs tuned into S4C~ yet!
ozsat110 posts since 23 Dec 2001
[quote="TVDragon"]IMO, there should be a change of the law, and Channel 4 should be enabled in Wales [currently blocked "officially", but easy to get if you point your aerial] [quote]Channel 4 is not "officially" blocked in Wales - it is simply not available to analogue viewers. I doubt if channel space could be found for it.

Digital viewers in Wales using Freeview or Sky equipment are provided S4CD and Channel 4 as standard.
Glorfindel
You get almost universally get dual language signs in most places in Wales - on the roads, in public buildings etc. The same is not true in Scotland...

...until you get to the Western Isles, anyway!

As you say, it's primarily because the Welsh lobby always had more political influence than the Scottish Gaelic lobby; there was a lot of agitating in the 60s to get proper official acknowledgement of the importance of Welsh.

It helped that the Secretary of State for Wales at the time was Welsh-speaking; I don't think Scotland's ever had a Gaelic-speaking Minister (before devolution, anyway), but then Gaelic is much more of a minority language in Scotland than Welsh is in Wales.

It would be wonderful to see a proper Gaelic television station, and suggestions to this end keep being made, but it's hard to see how it could afford to exist - the BBC can't even manage to run a full-time Gaelic radio station.