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Welsh Fourth Channel

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much her Department spent on the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority (S4C) in each year since 1980–81; how many viewers the channel had in each of the last 10 years; what plans there are to transfer the funding of S4C to the Welsh Assembly; and if she will make a statement. [99838]

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport was created in 1992, as the Department of National Heritage. Prior to this, grant payments to S4C were made by the Home Office. The amount of grant in aid paid under S4Cs statutory funding formula since 1980–81 was:

£ million
YearAmount
January 1981 to March 19822.009
Year ending 31 March
198318.107
198425.119
198528.000
198631.900
198733.880
198840.000
198945.453
199051.738
199155.902
April to December 199143.666
Year ending 31 December
199258.571
199355.705
199457.971
199563.942
199668.416
199772.223
199874.895
199977.134
200078.218
200180.745
200281.468
The total number of viewers, based on average weekly reach, for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available, was:

Year1Total number of viewers
199221,470,720
19931,531,860
19941,547,040
19951,559,240
19961,594,560
19971,544,320
19981,491,450
19991,533,260
20001,432,020
20011,268,370
1 Viewing figures are based on the average over the year of the total number of viewers in Wales aged four or over who watched S4C for at least three consecutive minutes during the course of each week.
2 The figure for 1992 is based on data for September to December, due to a temporary HTV viewing panel being used for the period January to August 1992.

Source:

Broadcasters' Audience Research Board figures provided by S4C.

The Government has no plans to transfer the funding of S4C to the Welsh Assembly.