BBC, S4C strike formal partnership | Major Businesses | Business
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The S4C authority and the unitary board of the BBC have entered into a new partnership, funding and accountability agreement designed to enable the two broadcasters to commit to working creatively together for the benefit of Welsh-speaking viewers.

S4C 13nov2017The agreement is based on three essential elements: the funding which S4C will receive from the television licence fee, and the nature of its accountability to the BBC for this funding; the statutory contribution of ten hours a week programming made by the BBC to S4C; the nature of the broader operational partnership, which will include the provision of technical facilities by the BBC to S4C.

The new partnership agreement will last until the end of the BBC’s new charter in 2028. It replaces the operating agreement which formed the basis of the relationship between the S4C authority and the BBC trust from 2013 to the end of March 2017. There is already agreement that S4C funding from the licence fee will remain at a fixed level until 2022, at which point the level of the television licence is due to be reviewed. The value of the statutory programming contribution will be sustained at its present level of £19.4 million per annum for the same period. The agreement also guarantees the continuation of the arrangement to provide S4C programming on the iPlayer until 2028.

The BBC says that the move shows its commitment to developing and establishing constructive and fair partnerships, one of the key features of its new charter, and that the commitment to provide funding for S4C as part of the framework agreement was made at the same time, in line with the charter’s requirements.

Commenting on the agreement, S4C chairman Huw Jones said: “This new agreement demonstrates clearly what the nature of the relationship between S4C and the BBC will be over the period of the new charter. It provides a strong element of security and stability for S4C over this period, while allowing the opportunity to review the key elements after five years. It sets a challenge for the two organisations to identify opportunities for constructive collaboration for the benefit of viewers. It builds on the success of the previous Operating Agreement and on a long tradition of co-operating and working together to serve audiences. It once again confirms S4C’s independence as an organisation and as a service.”

Added BBC chairman Sir David Clementi: “This new agreement ... recognises the vital role played by both organisations in Welsh-language broadcasting - and provides a firm foundation for continued collaboration at a time of significant media change. This is an exciting time for broadcasting in Wales, and I’m confident our continued close working with S4C will deliver real creative results, building on the many joint successes of recent years.”