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S4C to stay on iPlayer until 2028 under new BBC agreement

The S4C Authority and the unitary Board of the BBC have published a new agreement which will govern the relationship between the two broadcasters in the future.

The agreement also guarantees the continuation of the arrangement to provide S4C programming on the BBC iPlayer until 2028.

In this new Partnership, Funding and Accountability Agreement, the two broadcasters commit to working creatively together for the benefit of viewers and the Welsh-speaking audience. S4C will receive £74.5 million of licence fee money between now and 2022.

The agreement is based on:

  • The funding which S4C will receive from the television licence fee, and the nature of its accountability to the BBC for this funding
  • The statutory contribution of ten hours of weeks’ programming made by the BBC to S4C (News, soap Pobol Y Cym), and
  • The nature of the broader operational partnership which will include the provision of technical facilities by the BBC to S4C

The partnership agreement is to last until the end of the BBC’s new charter period in 2028.

There is already agreement that S4C funding from the licence fee will remain at a fixed level until 2022, at which point the level of the television licence is due to be reviewed.

The terms of the agreement to provide technical services for S4C at BBC Wales’s new headquarters in central Cardiff from 2019 on have also now been agreed.

This partnership agreement provides details as to how the relationship between the two organisations is expected to work so as to ensure constructive partnership, in Wales and at a UK level, and the processes of oversight which will be provided.

S4C Chairman, Huw Jones, says:
“This new agreement demonstrates clearly what the nature of the relationship between S4C and the BBC will be over the period of the new Charter. It provides a strong element of security and stability for S4C over this period, while allowing the opportunity to review the key elements after five years.
"It sets a challenge for the two organisations to identify opportunities for constructive collaboration for the benefit of viewers. It builds on the success of the previous operating agreement and on a long tradition of co-operating and working together to serve audiences. It once again confirms S4C’s independence as an organisation and as a service.

Sir David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC responded:
“This new agreement strengthens the existing long-standing public service broadcasting partnership between the BBC and S4C. It recognises the vital role played by both organisations in Welsh language broadcasting - and provides a firm foundation for continued collaboration at a time of significant media change.
"This is an exciting time for broadcasting in Wales, and I’m confident our continued close working with S4C will deliver real creative results, building on the many joint successes of recent years."

  • Following the change from Trust to Unitary Board the BBC no longer has a representative on the S4C Authority Board. Elan Closs Stephen’s term as an individual member comes to an end on 31 October 2018.