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BBC and S4C Join Forces For Welsh Viewers

The BBC Governors and the S4C Authority have announced a new strategic partnership for the development of programming and services for Welsh language television audiences.
The governing bodies described the settlement as a "significant milestone" in the relationship between the two public service broadcasters.
The agreement sets out how the corporation will strengthen and extend its support for S4C over the next three years as the Welsh language channel implements its programme strategy in the run-up to digital switchover in Wales in 2009.
The BBC has a statutory duty to provide S4C with over 10 hours of Welsh programming each week - made by BBC Wales and funded by the licence fee.
The BBC's current contribution includes the international news service, Newyddion, and the daily drama, Pobol y Cwm.
As part of the new strategic partnership, the BBC will:
  • increase its annual spend on programme-making for S4C from just under £22m in 2006/07 to just over £25m by 2008/09
  • increase the number of programmes it produces for S4C. Detailed programming plans are currently being discussed with S4C
  • establish a joint planning framework with S4C that details how the two broadcasters will discuss and agree which programmes the BBC contributes to S4C
  • provide, for the first time, BBC Wales-produced programmes on S4C's broadband and on-demand services
  • share its annual spending plans with S4C in advance. Hitherto, the BBC has only published financial information retrospectively in its Annual Report
The new agreement reflects the provisions of this year's Government White Paper on the future of the BBC.
The agreement also addresses the challenges set out in the Laughton Report to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2004 and last year's Ofcom review of public service television broadcasting.
The Partnership will also require the BBC Governors and S4C Authority to develop performance targets and indicators to measure success for audiences.
The Chairman of the BBC, Michael Grade, commented: "BBC Wales's programmes have played a major role in the success of S4C for many years.
"We are delighted that this new partnership will strengthen and extend the BBC's contribution I'm certain Welsh language audiences will reap the benefits."
The Chairman of S4C, John Walter Jones, commented: "The new partnership provides a welcome new chapter in the relationship between S4C and the BBC."

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