S4C plans new catch-up services

Welsh language broadcaster S4C has announced plans to add its content to YouView, YouTube, TV Catch-up and the BBC iPlayer.

“These announcements show that S4C is serious about ensuring that the Channel is available in as many different forms as possible as we move into the digital age,” said S4C executive Ian Jones. “S4C currently runs its own online on-demand service, Clic, and our viewers increasingly use the service. But in order to raise awareness of S4C and our great programming, we need to make our programmes available on larger platforms – as well as emerging platforms”.

S4C has formed a partnership with YouTube, which will see content streamed live, and short form content also placed on the service.

The channel, now funded through the BBC licence fee has also reached an agreement with the BBC Trust for inclusion on the iPlayer.

The plan was given the go-ahead by the BBC Trust after S4C made a request to the BBC to appear as a full channel with all its programmes available on iPlayer. The aim is to launch the new service, initially for a trial period of 18 months, in autumn 2014.

Sian Gwynedd, BBC Cymru Wales’ Head of Welsh Language Programmes and Services, said: “This is a very important development which will ensure that all Welsh language programmes from the BBC and S4C, as well as BBC Radio Cymru’s programmes, will be available live and on demand not only to audiences in Wales but across the UK.”

Editorial arrangements will be formally agreed between the BBC Trust and the S4C Authority prior to launch.

It is also the first formal agreement between TV Catch Up and a public service broadcaster.

Bruce Pilley, TVCatchup chairman, said: “S4C is leading the way amongst its peers by actively engaging with us to further its public service remit and to extend its reach to a wider audience. We’re looking forward to a fruitful and enduring relationship with S4C and plan to form similar partnerships with other public service broadcasters.”

No charge has been made by TV Catch Up for the carriage.