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All S4C funding to come from licence fee by 2022

Independent review looked at sustainability of Welsh-language channel

An independent review of Welsh public-service broadcaster S4C has recommended all of the channel’s public funding should be provided by the licence fee from 2022/23 onwards.

The review said all future funding decisions should be made as part of the BBC licence fee funding settlement.

The government has accepted all of the review’s findings. They also include:

– The government should update S4C’s public service remit to include digital and online services and remove the current geographical broadcasting restrictions. This will allow S4C to broaden its reach and offer its content on a range of new platforms in the UK and beyond

– S4C should establish an in-house digital hub to develop and improve S4C’s digital footprint and form the basis of a Welsh language digital cluster

– S4C should establish a language partnership with the Welsh Government and others to help deliver the Welsh Government’s commitment to reach one million Welsh language speakers by 2050

– The government should consider amending current approval requirements to give S4C greater freedom to invest and generate commercial revenue

– The S4C Authority should be replaced with a new unitary board comprising executive and non-executive directors

Euryn Ogwen Williams, who chaired the review, said: “Being the only Welsh language broadcaster, S4C’s role is one of great importance to Welsh speaking audiences in and outside of Wales and I wanted to make sure it can continue to thrive in this new and fast developing media landscape. I hope that my report and recommendations will guarantee S4C’s status as an independent broadcaster that can play a major role in the Welsh language partnership, having secured the stability to do so for the years to come.”

The government has asked S4C to provide a detailed implementation plan by July 2018 on how it will deliver the necessary reforms.