Hello from S4C

Hello, Criw SSiW! My name is Sara, and I started learning Welsh with SSiW back in 2013, and as I frequently tell people - it has changed my life :slight_smile:

One of the many wonderful things that learning Welsh has brought me is a new job, and I am now the Welsh Language Strategy Lead for S4C - a big part of my job over the coming months and years will be to improve what the channel provides for learners, and how we go about doing that.

I have been chatting to Aran and Catrin about how we can get better information to you all about what’s available to help support your learning, and you should see more to come on that soon. But I also wanted to let you know that if you have any specific questions you can tag me, and I’ll try to answer them (or try to find the person here with the right information to answer them!)

In the meantime, here are a few starting points for anyone new to S4C’s programmes:

  • In the UK, you can watch all of S4C’s current programmes on iPlayer, where English subtitles are available.
  • But if you watch on S4C’s own player (Clic) you will also have the choice to watch with Welsh subtitles on most of the programmes. (Welsh subtitles on live programmes aren’t very easy to do at the moment - something we’re working really hard to solve.) You can find Clic online (www.s4c.cymru/clic) or as an app, and as an app on some smart TVs (we’re working on getting it onto as many devices as possible).
  • If you’re not in the UK, the choice of programmes available to you is unfortunately limited because of legal/rights issues. But the list of what you can watch is kept up to date on our website here: International | S4C
  • We have a number of brands within the channel (such as Cyw, for our youngest viewers). The brand for those aged 16-25 is called Hansh, and its content is “digital first”. As an older (ahem) person I had to have that explained to me - it means that if you’re interested in that sort of programming you can find it by following Hansh on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/c/HanshS4C), then some of it will be transferred to Clic. Just be aware that you might get more swearing on these films than you would usually expect to see on S4C! You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok…
  • We also have a brand called Lŵp for those of you that are into your contemporary music (https://www.youtube.com/@LwpS4C) - there’s some really exciting stuff being made at the moment.
  • Finally, we do have a YouTube channel where you can find snippets of all sorts of programmes with additional vocabulary: https://www.youtube.com/c/S4CDysguCymraeg. I’m going to be working on how we make better use of that over the next few months.

That’s probably enough to be getting on with! If you have any questions, please do shout (virtually!) and I’ll be really happy to help if I can :slight_smile:

Hwyl am y tro!


Diolch for introducing yourself Sara and welcome back to the forum, it’s a pleasure to haev you back and in a new role!

I’ve no doubt that your presence here will prove to be invaluable to this community and I look forward to this relationship strengthening. :slight_smile:

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Croeso nôl Sara! It’s fantastic to see how far you’ve come with your Welsh and I’m sure you’re going to make a big difference with S4C.

One thing that is raised over and over by people outside the UK is access to a wider range of programmes. I know that you’ve mentioned legal/copyright issues, but what SSiWers often say to me is that they would be willing to pay a subscription to support Welsh television and to be able to watch S4C overseas.

I have no idea whether that would be a possible answer to the legal/copyright issues, but perhaps it’s something that could be looked into.


Diolch yn fawr iawn, @CatrinLliarJones a @Deborah-SSi - I certainly wouldn’t be here writing this without the two of you!

I have to confess I don’t really understand the whole international rights issue! I’ll ask the question of the nice people in the legal team to see what I can find out.


Llongyfarchiadau enfawr, Huge Congratulations!

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Helo, Sara. I live in the U.S. and have pretty much given up on S4C Clic. Nothing I want to watch ever seems to be available here. It’s particularly disappointing when someone from SSiW is on S4C and I can’t see them perform. We were just assigned to watch the first episode of Stori’r Iaith as homework (I’m in a Cwrs Canolradd class online), and I can’t even do that.

I’m afraid much of it comes down to cost.
Due to copyright law, music, images, footage or any other 3rd party material (i.e. anything from any source other than what the crew themselves have filmed) in a programme needs to be licensed according to where, how (TV/TV & online/online only, etc) and for how long it’ll be shown (i.e. period of time during which it can be shown or repeated), and unfortunately worldwide rights are far more expensive than single country ones.
For example - I know of one archive house who, for footage to be included in a programme for S4C (so UK only) would charge £850 per minute or part thereof with a minute minimum purchase (so if we wanted to include a 10 second clip of theirs, it would cost us £850 and if we wanted to use 61 seconds, it would be £1700) but for exactly the same footage to be included for viewing worldwide, it would cost £2700 per minute or part thereof with a minute minimum purchase. And there just isn’t always that kind of money in the programme budgets.

Edit to say: and those guys are not even the most expensive source out there!


Thanks for this perspective from a production company, Siaron. I realise that must be really frustrating, for people like Anne - especially when it’s homework!

It’s important also to remmber S4C’s role as a public service broadcaster, and the terms of trade that we have to abide to. I think I’m right in saying (bearing in mind that I’m not a lawyer!) when we buy the primary rights to a programme (e.g. with Stori’r Iaith, the rights to broadcast it this month & put it on Clic/iPlayer), the production company reserve the secondary and international rights. Which means that they have the chance to sell it to someone like Netflix if they can, and have that income. Given the famously small size of the budgets we can afford to pay for our programmes, this gives all the small production companies that make programmes for us the chance to get a bit more income for their work. This was introduced specifically to try to support the independent production sector (if you’re interested, you can read more about it in section 10.1 of this document, on p.44: https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9571/CBP-9571.pdf).


Yes, that’s true, but we’d still have to pay to uplift any 3rd party material from UK only to worldwide in order for someone like Netflix to broadcast it - and the extra they’d pay wouldn’t necessarily cover that, especially in a programme that was particularly heavy with 3rd party material.
We have sold some of our productions to international broadcasters such as Netflix, usually ones either with no or very little 3rd party content, but we have others in our portfolio that would simply not be cost effective to sell on.

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I suppose that’s why we’re more likely to be able to share dramas internationally, isn’t it - unless they’re particularly music-heavy they have much less 3rd party content.

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Edit to add: Of course, whenever we can, we try to make the shows possible to broadcast internationally - it is possible to find some 3rd party stuff at an affordable rate, but sometimes the context demands stuff that just can’t be sourced cheaply, and that’s when our only option becomes to license for UK only.

I guess part of the problem is that there’s not exactly a huge interest at the moment from international broadcasters/platforms in Welsh language productions.

So I would tend to think it’s quite unlikely for small production companies to be able to cover expenses for worldwide licensing (and all the extra time and work to grant them) - except rare cases, unfortunately.

It’s a shame that programmes can’t reach all their potential audience, and this doesn’t help the language either.
But we can hope in a copyrights rules and regulation change in the future @siaronjames !


Thank you @siaronjames and @sara-peacock-1, for explaining some of the intricacies of intellectual property rights as they pertain to material for broadcast. I and others on this side of the pond have wondered whether it would be possible to make some programs available by subscription or pay-per-view. That may be outside S4C’s role and/or prohibitively expensive to organize in terms of likely market size, but I would be willing to pay for access.


Hi Sara, croeso nôl. One thing that I find annoying with Clic is that I cant download content to my phone. I downloaded the app and created an account in the hope of ditching iPlayer and, along with it, the tv licence. Is being able to download to the app something we can look forward to in the near future? Or actually, maybe you can and I’ve just missed how to do it. :roll_eyes:


That is an extremely good question, to which I do not know the answer… But I do know who will, so I’ll ask and report back as soon as I’ve learned something useful :slight_smile:

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Right… I’ve got some good news and some bad news (as the old saying goes…)

The bad news is that downloading programmes is not something that we can do on Clic at the minute. It’s on the list, but there are quite a few other things that are going to be taking up the time & investment before we get to it, so it’s not likely to happen in the near future.

But the good news is that you don’t need a licence to watch S4C content on Clic or iPlayer on catch-up, only when you are watching live. Here’s what my lovely Clic expert shared with me:




3.0 Licensable activity – under the Communications Act 2003 and Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 (as amended) licensable activity means using or installing any device to: a) watch or record live any programme that is included in any television programme service (i.e. a TV channel), or; b) watch or download any BBC programme on demand on BBC iPlayer. Watching or recording “live” doesn’t just refer to live action e.g. sport or news, but also refers to any content when it is broadcast or transmitted for everyone to watch at the same time. This applies regardless of the platform or provider (e.g. Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT TV, or a service such as iPlayer or Amazon Prime Video). Licensable activity does not include: a) watching programmes by means of pre-recorded media such as DVD and Blu-ray; b) downloading or watching S4C TV on demand on BBC iPlayer or listening to radio programmes on BBC iPlayer. c) downloading or watching on demand programmes from other providers, such as: • ITV Hub, All 4 or Demand 5 [my italics]

Hope that helps!


That I was NOT aware of! I used to watch a variety of programmes on Catch-up with BBC iPlayer but with no TV licence as I don’t have a TV and only rarely watch things. Once they brought in the “you need a licence to watch Catch-up too” rule, I thought it applied to S4C as well, so I stopped watching with iPlayer and only used Clic.

Good to know that option is still there. Occasionally I find that Clic doesn’t work for me, giving me strange “Oops” messages. It usually sorts itself within an hour or so, but good that iPlayer is an alternative if I’d set aside that time to watch something in particular.

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Crap, I looked into it recently but stopped looking once I found that you need a licence to watch iPlayer, I assumed that meant all iPlayer content including S4C. Thank you so much, you’ve potentially just saved me £13 a month. :grinning::wink:


What’s that other saying! Every little helps? :wink: Happy watching!

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The all important small print at the bottom. :wink:

TV LICENCE CANCELLED!! :grinning::grinning::grinning: