Radio Cymru music dispute talks to resume later in week

BBC Wales arts and media correspondent Huw Thomas takes a look at how the row developed

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Talks are to resume later this week in the royalties row between the BBC and a group of Welsh language musicians.

Radio Cymru lost the right to play around 30,000 songs on New Year's Day and has been forced to cut its airtime.

The latest negotiations ended on Tuesday without an agreement but Eos, the body representing the artists, said it had made a new offer to the BBC.

Eos said the broadcaster had until Thursday to respond while the BBC said its priority was to find a solution.

Start Quote

We're still engaged in discussions with Eos... and our priority remains finding a sensible and sustainable solution”

End Quote BBC Wales

The artists want increased payments for their music played on the Welsh language station.

BBC Cymru Wales said in a statement: "We're still engaged in discussions with Eos, the body that represents Welsh musicians, over broadcast rights to Welsh language music and our priority remains finding a sensible and sustainable solution.

"Negotiations are set to continue later this week".

The BBC Trust, which is independent of the corporation's management, has urged a settlement, saying it was in nobody's interest for the dispute to continue.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society) said many listeners had turned to other radio stations which was a cause for concern.

Chair Robin Farrar said: "As the discussions continue there is still hope for justice for our musicians, but with every day that passes without an agreement there's more damage to our only Welsh language radio station.

"This has gone on too long so we're calling on the BBC to accept the latest offer from Eos, and to do so as a matter of urgency."

Classical music and hymns have replaced rock and pop on Radio Cymru as the station has cut its airtime by two hours a day.

The musicians broke away from the Performing Right Society to join the new agency, claiming they were being short-changed for their work.

Radio Cymru reaches about 142,000 listeners a week, or 6% of the adult population of Wales, according to the latest Rajar audience survey.

Talks took place on Tuesday at the BBC in Bangor, Gwynedd.

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