The BBC Trust has given its approval to a digital TV service in the Gaelic language. The channel, which would be available on satellite, cable and broadband, though not Freeview, is a partnership with the Gaelic Media Service (GMS).
The approval by the BBC’s regulator came following a Public Value Test. The Trust has said that the present Gaelic Zone on BBC Two should continue and the service will be subject to a review before digital switchover in central and northern Scotland takes place in 2010. In a statement, the Trust said it was too early to judge whether the costs involved and the needs of the audience justified carriage on the Freeview DTT platform. The Trust says it believes that broadband and on demand services could provide a better option. It adds the BBC failed to demonstrate the appeal of the service beyond the Gaelic community.
TeleG, a daily one-hour block of Gaelic programme previously transmitted on the BBC and ITV in Scotland, has been available on DTT since October 1999.
By doing away with carriage on the DTT platform the project will save £4 million per-year. The service will cost £20.8 million per year in total, of which GMS will contribute £10.1 million and the BBC £10.7 million.