S4C'S ANNUAL REPORT IS PUBLISHED
An upturn in viewing figures and a positive £34.4 million outcome to a long-term commercial investment are among the highlights outlined in S4Cís 2004 Annual Report.
From September 2004 onwards, the Channelís viewing figures have either increased or remained stable for ten consecutive months Ė overturning the current trend for most other terrestrial broadcasters.
This improvement is attributed to a new Programme Strategy, devised and implemented during 2004, which has seen the schedule revamped and a greater emphasis placed on quality and innovation.
Among the 2004 programme highlights was Y Briodas Fawr, credited with kick-starting the upturn in viewing figures in September. In a format unique to S4C, a team of celebrities organised the real life wedding of a couple from west Wales.
In 2004, SDN, which holds the digital terrestrial licence for Multiplex A in the UK, of which S4C owned a third, made a profit for the first time. The company was sold to itv plc in April 2005 making £34.4m for S4C, which will be used to help the Channel meet the challenges of the digital future.
The resources available to S4C, along with its structure and role, were given detailed consideration in 2004.
An external review, requested by the S4C Authority and undertaken by Professor Roger Laughton on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), found that S4C fulfilled its remit in an effective and efficient way.
In 2004, regulatory body Ofcom undertook its own review of public service television in the UK and put forward several suggestions as to the nature of S4Cís services in the future. Ofcom concluded that S4Cís relationship with the BBC should be revised, with more editorial control given to S4C and a clear financial commitment made by the BBC centrally as to its contribution to the S4C service.
Both the Laughton review and Ofcomís recommendations will be fed into the BBCís Charter Renewal and DCMS for further consideration.
Elan Closs Stephens, S4Cís Chair, says, ď2004 was the year S4C sought to define its future role in the fast-changing world of communications. It was a time of challenge and opportunity and a time to put forward strategic and creative solutions.
ďMaking ourselves fit for digital switchover will be challenging. We need to be determined, ambitious and steadfast to take advantage of exciting new opportunities. All our viewers deserve an innovative, enjoyable and ambitious S4C and in 2004 we have laid the foundations for the future.
ďIn this Annual Report we also pay tribute to our Chief Executive, Huw Jones, who leaves later this year and who has led the Channel for 12 years with total commitment. He leaves a legacy of a structured workplace, financial prudence and commercial success. His main legacy, however, is that he leaves us poised and ready to develop the digital future.Ē
To read the full report