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S4C ups on-demand Welsh language TV content for overseas viewers

Tuesday, October 6th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Welsh language channel S4C is to make more of its programmes available for viewers to watch on demand while abroad.

S4C revamped its on-demand website earlier this year, as well as launching new iPhone and Android apps.

The broadcaster has now expanded the range of shows available for viewers living abroad and those heading away on holiday.

Programmes now available internationally include long-running daily magazine shows Heno and Prynhawn Da, farming programme Ffermio, Christian music show Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol and the Dal Ati: Bore Da programmes for Welsh learners.

Welsh Premier League, JD Welsh Cup and Word Cup football matches shown live on Sgorio will also be available in full on demand after the final whistle.

The increase in the number of programmes available internationally is a pilot scheme with the ultimate aim of developing S4C's international provision in the long-term.

Most programmes are available on demand for 35 days, with English subtitles available on the majority of shows.

Elin Morris, S4C’s corporate and commercial director, said: “We’re very proud to be able to offer more programmes for international viewers on S4C’s online on demand service, s4c.cymru.

“We’re very aware of the demand by viewers across the globe to see our content and we will do our very best to meet that demand where possible.

“What we are announcing today is an increase in the programmes available internationally over a pilot period.

'Develop the service'

“Copyright restraints prevent us from supplying all programmes outside the UK.

"But over the pilot period, we will co-operate with rights holders to seek out new ways to allow us to show as many programmes as possible internationally, not only during the pilot period but as we develop the service in the long-term.”

S4C's annual report, released earlier this year, showed a 6% reduction in terms of weekly viewing in Wales, but a 10% increase in the total number of weekly TV viewers.

The report reveals a 31% increase in the number of online viewing sessions of S4C content, from 4.4m in 2013/14 to 5.7m in 2014/15.

Huw Jones, chairman of S4C's governing body, the S4C Authority, said: “It appears that we are seeing a situation where people who have moved out of Wales are using technology to keep in touch with Welsh life and the language in increasing numbers.

"At the same time younger viewers are turning away from the television screen towards new media, and young Welsh-speakers are on average less likely to use the language than older people.

"S4C must grasp both of these challenges simultaneously – while still providing for the audience which expects a constant flow of new programmes on the traditional screen.”

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