BBC Wales' TV audience figures reach 10-year high

Day of the Doctor 50th Anniversary poster BBC Cymru Wales' 50th Doctor Who special was watched in 98 countries

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Audience figures for TV programmes made by BBC Cymru Wales have reached a 10-year high, the corporation's annual report said.

The number of hits on BBC Wales' online services have also risen by 30% with 3.65 million unique users on the BBC Wales website.

BBC Cymru Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies said there was some "remarkable output" in English language programming given the financial constraints.

The licence fee was frozen in 2012.

The BBC Wales director said the broadcaster had become "entrepreneurial" in working with a range of other partners to develop drama programming like Hinterland and the Indian Doctor.

But he also added that BBC Wales must move faster online to continue to improve the diversity of its output.

The report found:

  • There were almost one million viewers tuning in each week to BBC One and Two Wales - the highest in a decade.
  • Radio Wales continued to attract almost half a million listeners each week, while Radio Cymru saw a 12% increase in weekly listeners, after a number of years of decline.
  • However, there has been a decline in the volume of English language television output by BBC Wales over the past seven years.
  • Last year, there was a total of 603 hours of English language television output by BBC Wales.
  • The value of programmes such as Doctor Who, which are shown across the BBC but are made in Wales, was worth £56m last year.
Cast of Hinterland Hinterland has been praised for the partnership work with S4C to deliver the brooding detective series

"The challenge of maintaining a broad range of output is becoming far harder as savings bite," said Mr Talfan Davies in his forward to this year's BBC Cymru Wales Management Review.

"Our contribution to the BBC's UK networks has never been greater or broader - but we know it must do more to portray Wales.

"I believe that if we are candid and determined, we will meet all these challenges head-on.

"It will take imagination and no little ingenuity, of course, but I see no shortage of either."

The BBC trustee for Wales, Elan Closs Stephens, said BBC Cymru Wales was "delivering for its audiences".

She added: "The outstanding programmes over the last year are testament to that.

"However, it is a matter of concern that the Audience Council has identified ongoing issues with the way that BBC network news reflects Wales, and a lack of English-language TV programmes, particularly comedy and drama, produced in Wales for Wales. The Trust will continue to work with the BBC to address these concerns in the coming year."

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