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BBC objects to S4C licence fee funding plan

The BBC has objected to plans which will see the responsibility of funding S4C transfer to the BBC in 2022.

S4C, the free-to-air Welsh-language broadcaster is currently funded by a combination of the licence fee, Government contributions and commercial revenue.

The UK Government announced earlier that it intends to stop its contributions to the channel's budget from 2022, with money from the BBC licence fee taking up the shortfall, with just 2% of overall funding expected to be raised through advertising on the channel. As a result, all public money for the channel will come via the BBC, according to the Government.

In a statement issued today, the BBC said:
"We oppose the review’s proposal that the UK Government should transfer its responsibility for funding S4C to the BBC from 2022.

The BBC continues to support the view set out by S4C last year - in its strategic review, Pushing the Boundaries - that the channel and its audiences are best served by a funding model based on a plurality of funding sources. We have always believed this plurality is an important principle that should be safeguarded not cast aside.

Moreover, we believe that all decisions about the future allocation of licence fee funds should be made as part of the next overall licence fee settlement, and follow open consultation with all licence fee payers, including, of course, S4C viewers."

Since S4C's launch in 1982, the BBC has supplied the channel with a selection of programmes, including news and soap opera Pobol Y Cym. In recent years, following the 2010-16 licence fee settlement, that saw licence fee funds being used for S4C, the two broadcasters have announced a number of back-office technical and operational collaborations.