Borgen and The Killing among inspirations for MG ALBA as it prioritises drama and children’s programming

THE global success of Danish TV dramas, Borgen and The Killing, are among the inspirations for the prioritising of drama and children’s programming by one of the partners in the Gaelic language TV channel, BBC ALBA.

Says the chair of MG ALBA, Maggie Cunningham, in a media release issued by the Scottish Government-funded body: “BBC ALBA has been an undisputed success since it started broadcasting five years ago in September 2008. The channel can take great pride in its achievements and we must ensure that this progress continues.

“We are committed to developing children’s programming and multi-media resources and these areas stand side by side with drama as priorities for the channel.

The BBC is the other partner.

Cunningham is further quoted, as MG ALBA issues its annual report today, as saying: “We have been inspired by and admire the global success achieved by Danish dramas Borgen and The Killing, and, looking ahead, we will continue to share experiences with our fellow minority language broadcasters such as S4C and TG4 to inspire our commissioning and funding strategies. While indigenous language crime programmes have been a success we will be looking at all options for developing drama for the channel.”

BBC ALBA was launched almost five years ago. MG ALBA is funded by the Scottish Government, to help promote Gaelic language television.

The release continues: “Funding for programmes remains a challenge but MG ALBA had been boosted by the injection of an extra £1 million of funding from 2015/16, as announced by Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, in last week’s UK Government Spending Round.”

Ms Cunningham is further quoted, as saying “MG ALBA will continue to engage with the BBC and the BBC Trust to leverage support for the channel and provide an even more valuable service for viewers. [Also] we have to make our own good fortune. We need to continue to imaginatively use our existing resources.”

Donald Campbell, MG ALBA chief executive, is also quoted, as saying: “2012-13 was the best ever year for audiences for BBC ALBA. Weekly reach Scotland-wide grew from 10.6 per cent (436,000) to 15.6 per cent (637,000). Interest in Gaelic-speaking communities also grew and the average reach of 79 per cent in Quarter four was the highest recorded reach since the launch of the channel in 2008.

“This was also a record year for iPlayer viewing of BBC ALBA content with 4.1 million views of our programming, almost double the amount of viewing we received in 2011-12. This year also saw a significant shift from traditional PCs to mobile devices as a popular way to access iPlayer content, especially for younger audiences.”

To coincide with the launch of the annual report, Cunningham gives a video interview, here.