Concerns over a drop in S4C's peak-time figures

…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;

…neu yn Saesneg;

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.

Anyone who remembers the dreadful WAW Factor will know that a repeat of that is the last thing we need. In any case, haven’t the Welsh been doing competitive performing arts for almost a millennium?

Dawn = Talent BTW, but you’ll also commonly hear people using the word, ahem, talent. :slight_smile:

Cytuno yn llwyr, Rob!

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!

Or maybe someone just said something and it got reported from a certain angle. Who knows.

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.

the launch of the channel on multiple platforms online

I’m not sure how peak time viewing figures could practically include such online content. Do techniques for doing so exist? Genuine question BTW, not trying to be controversial :slight_smile:



@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.

Thanks Jonathon. This from the BARB website:

BARB is the official source of television viewing figures in the UK. We continually develop new ways of measuring what you and the rest of the UK are watching.


I agree Iestyn - you (and others) might find this Hansard record interesting:

Diolch yn fawr iawn for that link, Bontddu. I heard last week that he’d secured a debate on S4C, so it’ll be very interesting to read what was discussed.

Rob Bruce: Anyone who remembers the dreadful WAW Factor will know that a repeat of that is the last thing we need.

And as if by magic


Dim problem Jon - you can see there are people fighting S4C’s corner and who understand not only the challenge but the solution. Rob.

Iestyn: Enjoy!

So a bit like an eisteddfod, but without the constraint of having to be any good? Where’s the [rollseyes] smiley gone?

Yes, Rob. And because the competitors don’t have to be any good, the audience have to make their own entertainment by booing constructive criticism, and hating one of the judges.


(PS I think we may have spotted a pet hate here Rob. You and me both, I suspect…)