…although I can’t see how after the successes of programmes like ‘Y Gwyll’ and ‘35 Diwrnod’. Plus the launch of the channel on multiple platforms online making S4C reachable to a wider audience. Yet, this has generated a news story today on the BBC website;
the launch of the channel on multiple platforms online
This is what the figures don’t take into account. They refer to live broadcast viewing only, so more than a bit misleading. It’s been seen by some (e.g. Cymdeithas yr Iaith) as a cynical attack on S4C by the BBC management.
The BBC are clearly trying to find anything they can to warrant a reduction in S4C’s funding. If they collated their figures properly and took online platforms into account, I reckon they would find a small rise at the very least. I wouldn’t mind betting they’re not even taking other digital platforms on board either (Sky, Virgin Media, Freesat etc.)
S4C produces better drama than any other mainstream UK channel, so it’s about time they found a way to make that known - I suppose that is what Y Gwyll is doing, but time is running out because the cutting shears are never far away from minority languages.
Thing to remember is that there are a lot of people who don’t bother watching television any more - I for one prefer to watch my drama online - sans adverts and on my own schedule. As a result, peak viewership is typically held by programs like X Factor, and while a (beth yw “talent” yn Gymraeg?) 'Da Cymru might be an interesting watch, I don’t see Simon Cowell funding it, somehow.
And - as has been referenced a number of times above - any reasonably intelligent person can see that television (and mass media in general) is going through a huge transitional phase whereby concepts such as peak viewership are becoming more and more redundant. So, there are either no intelligent people within BBC management, or there are clearly self-interested political manoeuvrings afoot. Or both!
I’ve mentioned several times that hardly any of my Welsh speaking friends watch S4C. Though daytime t.v is always on when I call in: Judge Judy, Jeremy Kyle…U.S or British soaps hugely popular. Yet, I can’t think of a time when they’ve been watching a Welsh speaking programme.
Chatting to my friends, Nerys and Bethan last week it was mentioned they had problems understanding the Welsh in, Pobl y Cwm. Which they didn’t like; were dismissive of… They prefer Corrie and Deadenders.
For me - if it wasn’t for S4C and repeats of “Dads Army” I’d have given up on watching telly…
Kim - Your friends are basically pointing out a dialect thing then? I find PYC a little easier to understand then RAR despite learning Northern & not sure why this is. The dialect thing in some ways is important but in other ways it presents problems. As with the writing I feel Welsh would be stronger if it was more standardised, especially in the internet age. Still, interesting what you say about your friends watching Judge Judy etc. I’ve watched S4C since I was a boy and would hate to see it shrink.
@Stu: You can take the live audience data and then combine it with the figures after 30 days on Clic, and also any other platform where it was archived. There are also the sites that stream live TV too that will need to be counted. But by the end of this, are we still even talking about a peak-time viewership? It doesn’t really make sense. But without it you don’t have an accurate picture. And this - to me at least - is the problem with the story above. To use live broadcast data only to judge the success/failure of a channel or programme doesn’t make sense in a multiplatform media landscape. It’s more complicated than that now.
In fairness to RhTD, I’ve seen quotes (not the original minutes) that say his concern is that the drop of 17% is more than would be expected comparing patterns between S4c and other channels. I assume this means that all channels are experiencing the change in viewing habits, and the increase in choice (including non TV choice) has led to a drop in figures for all channels, but that S4C’s are more drastic.
The problem is, of course, that this is hilighted in a way that will be used by the “we shouldn;t be wasting money on the Welsh language” camp, and that without other minority language channels to comare with, it’s a bit finger-in-the-air, especially as there are questions about the methods of collating viewing figures for S4C.