Media Release: MG ALBA appeal for ‘firm commitment’ in Charter to build on success of BBC ALBA


MG ALBA today welcomed the commitment to Gaelic broadcasting in Scotland published in the White Paper on the BBC Royal Charter and appealed for a firm commitment to be made in the renewed Charter to enable BBC ALBA to build on its success.

Begins a spokesperson: “The White Paper, which will form the basis of the Charter to be renewed prior to the end of 2016, states that the BBC should maintain its commitment to Gaelic language broadcasting through its partnership with MG ALBA.”

MG ALBA (The Gaelic Media Service), which operates BBC ALBA in partnership with BBC Scotland, said the pledge was a welcome step in recognising BBC ALBA’s achievements but a major challenge lay ahead in securing its future.

Adds the spokesperson: “The BBC currently contributes around 4.5 hours of original programming per week to BBC ALBA. In comparison, it is required by Parliament to contribute ten hours per week of original programming to S4C, the Welsh language channel.

“MG ALBA is seeking the same ten-hour commitment to be enshrined as part of the charter review process.”

Maggie Cunningham, chair of MG ALBA, said: “The value of Gaelic language broadcasting has been rightly recognised but if BBC ALBA – which is now firmly part of the Scottish broadcasting landscape – is to progress and prosper we need more original programming.

“There is widespread recognition across the political spectrum that the creative industries in Scotland will get a significant shot in the arm from us producing more programmes.

“BBC ALBA has been an outstanding success but audience deserves a more complete service and that means fewer repeats and more original programming.

“In the coming months and weeks we will continue to strive to build support for an unequivocal commitment to be made to a minimum number of hours of programming for BBC ALBA and we urge all interested parties to support this aspiration.

“We remain extremely grateful for the support we have received from the BBC, Scottish and UK Governments and want to take the success of BBC ALBA to the next level.”


For further information please contact Ramsay Smith, Lorna Gardner or Gary McQueen at Media House on 0141 220 6040 (Ramsay mob: 07788414856) or email ramsay@mediahouse.co.uk / lorna@mediahouse.co.uk / gary@mediahouse.co.uk


MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (Gaelic Media Service). MG ALBA works in partnership with the BBC to deliver BBC ALBA.

BBC ALBA is available on the following platforms:

  • Sky 142 (UK)
  • Freeview / You View 7 (Scotland only)
  • Virgin Media 161 (UK)
  • Freesat 109 (UK)
  • BBC iPlayer

Find out more about MG ALBA and the partnership at www.mgalba.com or visit www.bbcalba.co.uk for scheduling and programme information.

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