Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Second Report

Updating note submitted by S4C

  S4C's grant-in-aid from DCMS for 1998 is £74.9 million, and for 1999 it is £77.142 million.

  S4C jointly funds the Western Mail television supplement with the BBC and HTV. In addition, S4C alone funds the Daily Post television supplement.

  S4C's digital service was launched on digital satellite in Wales on 1 February 1999. The decision to fund delivery by digital satellite was driven by the need to ensure that the digital service was available to everyone in Wales. This would not have been possible via digital terrestrial because of limited coverage. The service will be available to the rest of the UK by the end of May 1999. The timing is due to programme rights issues which meant that an encryption system was necessary for the rest of the UK. This system is being put in place at the moment.

  The S4C digital service, known as S4C1, is identical on digital terrestrial and digital satellite platforms.

  S4C2 will also be available on both platforms. As a result, the live gavel to gavel coverage of the proceedings of the National Assembly will be available to viewers throughout the UK. (For information—this is not the case for the Scottish Parliament.)

Iona Jones

Chief Assistant Director of Corporate Affairs

26 April 1999

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