BBC to increase investment in programming for Wales by 50 per cent

The BBC is to increase its investment in English Language programming for Wales by 50 per cent in the biggest expansion of BBC Wales television output in a generation.

Published: 21 February 2017
It’s so important that the BBC captures the real diversity of life and experience in Wales, and this investment is a real statement of intent about our ambition to serve all audiences in Wales.
— Tony Hall, BBC Director-General

The BBC said today that an additional £8.5m p.a. of new funding would help deliver a step-change in programming for Wales across a wide range of genres - including comedy, entertainment, drama, factual and culture – and enable BBC Wales to reach out to younger audiences and develop its online and mobile news services.

Under the plans, total investment in English language TV services is expected to reach almost £30m p.a. by 2019/20. And a new BBC Wales iPlayer channel will be launched to increase the visibility and prominence of content for audiences in Wales.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall says: “I’m delighted to announce this major increase in television funding for Wales. BBC Wales has a remarkable creative track record and I know they’ll seize this new opportunity with real relish.

“I believe this investment will be transformational. In areas such as drama, comedy and entertainment, we expect to more than double investment. In news and current affairs, it will help us move faster online and reach out to younger audiences, and provide greater specialist reporting across our output.

“It’s so important that the BBC captures the real diversity of life and experience in Wales, and this investment is a real statement of intent about our ambition to serve all audiences in Wales.”

The new funding is expected to:

  • Deliver more than 130 hours of additional programming each year across BBC One Wales, BBC Two Wales and BBC iPlayer
  • Generate at least a further £5m of on-screen investment through co-production agreements with other broadcasters and producers
  • Provide a full mix of programming to inform, educate and entertain – including additional comedy, drama and entertainment
  • Support a new BBC Wales iPlayer channel – providing a new home for Welsh programming available across all devices and in all parts of the UK
  • Boost portrayal and coverage of Wales on the BBC’s network channel – with the aim that at least half the additional programming should also be broadcast on the BBC’s UK network channels
  • Provide a major financial boost to the Welsh production sector with all new television funding open to full competition.

BBC Wales Director Rhodri Talfan Davies says: “This new investment is tremendously welcome. Wales is blessed with superb storytellers, and this investment will give them a fitting national stage. By the time we move to our new home in Central Square in less than three years’ time, I believe the difference on screen will be clear to audiences the length and breadth of our nation.”

“The new investment package will also allow us to attract greater co-production investment, using the collaborative models we’ve developed with S4C and others to fund series like Hinterland.”

News of the investment follows a personal commitment by the Director-General to improve the breadth of television programming provided by BBC Wales, following widespread concerns about declining investment over the last ten years. The new funding is expected to make an immediate impact, with two major new dramas set to be announced in the coming days.

The investment will also boost news services for Wales, with plans to increase specialist coverage and an expansion of online and mobile services. Details of these plans will be published later in the Spring.

Rhodri Talfan Davies says: “The challenges facing news provision in Wales have been well-documented, and this new investment will enable us to extend the reach of our news services among younger audiences and improve our analysis of the big stories that are shaping Wales today.”

The BBC has also confirmed today it’s taking a number of significant additional steps – over and above the £8.5m investment - to improve the portrayal of Wales across the BBC’s network channels. These include:

  • The appointment of a television drama commissioner for Wales
  • The introduction of a BBC Writersroom team in Wales to support the development of drama and comedy writers
  • The introduction of a £2m portrayal fund to support the development of factual, drama and comedy programming that better reflects the devolved nations
  • The introduction of on-screen portrayal objectives across all major network production teams, including drama, factual and comedy
  • The continued commitment to produce at least 5% of network programming from Wales - a target that has been consistently exceeded over the last eight years due to the success of BBC Wales and indie network productions. In 2015/16, this investment was worth £61.7m
  • A commitment to work in partnership with the Welsh Government’s proposed Creative Wales body to support the development of the creative industries across Wales

NTW

50% o fuddsoddiad ychwanegol i raglenni i Gymru gan y BBC

Mae’r BBC i gynyddu’r buddsoddiad mewn rhaglenni Saesneg i Gymru o 50% wrth i BBC Cymru weld yr ehangu mwyaf o ran cynnwys teledu mewn cenhedlaeth.

Dywed y BBC heddiw y bydd yr £8.5m y flwyddyn o gyllid newydd yn golygu newid sylweddol ar draws ystod eang o genres – gan gynnwys comedi, adloniant, drama, ffeithiol a diwylliant – ac yn galluogi BBC Cymru i ddenu cynulleidfaoedd iau a datblygu ein gwasanaethau newyddion ar-lein a symudol.

Fel rhan o’r cynlluniau, mae disgwyl i fuddsoddiad mewn rhaglenni teledu Saesneg gyrraedd bron i £30m y flwyddyn erbyn 2019/20. A bydd sianel newydd iPlayer BBC Cymru yn cael ei lansio gan gynyddu amlygrwydd rhaglenni i gynulleidfaoedd yng Nghymru.

Dywed Cyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol y BBC Tony Hall: “Rwy’n falch iawn o gyhoeddi’r cynnydd sylweddol hwn yng nghyllid teledu i Gymru. Mae gan BBC Cymru enw da am greadigrwydd ac rwy’n gwybod y byddant yn achub ar y cyfle newydd hwn gydag arddeliad.

“Rwy’n credu y bydd y buddsoddiad yma’n gwbl drawsnewidiol. Mewn meysydd megis drama, comedi ac adloniant, rydym yn disgwyl dyblu’r buddsoddiad. Ym maes newyddion a materion cyfoes, bydd o gymorth i ni symud yn gynt ar-lein a denu cynulleidfaoedd iau, a darparu mwy o adroddiadau arbenigol ar draws ein cynnwys.

“Mae’n holl bwysig bod y BBC yn portreadu'r bywyd a’r profiad Cymreig yn ei holl amrywiaeth, ac mae’r buddsoddiad yma’n ddatganiad clir o’n bwriad a’n huchelgais i wasanaethu holl gynulleidfaoedd Cymru."

Mae disgwyl i’r buddsoddiad newydd:

  • Gyflwyno mwy na 130 awr o raglenni ychwanegol bob blwyddyn ar draws BBC One Wales, BBC Two Wales a BBC iPlayer
  • Cynhyrchu buddsoddiad o o leiaf £5m ychwanegol fydd i’w weld ar y sgrin drwy gytundebau cyd-gynhyrchu gyda darlledwyr a chynhyrchwyr eraill
  • Darparu ystod lawn o raglenni i hysbysu, addysgu ac adlonni – gan gynnwys comedi, drama ac adloniant ychwanegol
  • Cefnogi sianel newydd BBC Cymru ar yr iPlayer – gan gynnig cartref newydd i raglenni Cymreig ar draws pob dyfais ac ym mhob rhan o’r DU
  • Hybu portread a sylw i Gymru ar sianeli rhwydwaith y BBC – gyda’r nod y dylai o leiaf hanner y rhaglenni ychwanegol gael eu darlledu ar sianeli rhwydwaith y BBC yn DU
  • Rhoi hwb ariannol i’r sector cynhyrchu yng Nghymru gyda’r holl gyllid teledu newydd yn agored i gystadleuaeth lawn

Dywed Cyfarwyddwr BBC Cymru Rhodri Talfan Davies: “Mae’r buddsoddiad yma i’w groesawu’n fawr. Mae Cymru yn wlad sydd wedi ei bendithio â storïwyr o fri, ac fe fydd y buddsoddiad yma yn rhoi llwyfan haeddiannol a chenedlaethol iddynt. Erbyn i ni gyrraedd ein cartref newydd yn y Sgwâr Canolog, mewn llai na thair blynedd, dwi’n credu y bydd y gwahaniaeth ar ein sgrin yn glir i’n cynulleidfaoedd ar hyd a lled Cymru.

“Bydd y buddsoddiad newydd yma hefyd yn ein galluogi i ddenu cyllid ychwanegol drwy gyd-gynhyrchu, gan ddefnyddio’r modelau cydweithio yr ydym wedi eu datblygu gydag S4C ac eraill i ariannu cyfresi megis Hinterland.”

Mae’r buddsoddiad yma’n dilyn ymrwymiad personol gan Gyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol y BBC i gryfhau’r amrywiaeth o raglenni teledu sy’n cael eu darparu gan BBC Cymru, yn dilyn pryderon am y dirywiad mewn buddsoddi dros y deng mlynedd diwethaf. Mae disgwyl i’r cyllid newydd wneud gwahaniaeth yn syth, wrth i ddwy ddrama newydd gael eu cyhoeddi dros y dyddiau nesaf.

Bydd y buddsoddiad hefyd yn hwb i’r gwasanaethau newyddion i Gymru, gyda chynlluniau i ehangu adroddiadau arbenigol yn ogystal â gwasanaethau ar lein a symudol. Cyhoeddir manylion y cynlluniau yma yn y Gwanwyn.

Dywed Rhodri Talfan Davies: “Mae’r her sy’n wynebu gwasanaethau newyddion yng Nghymru yn barod yn hysbys a bydd y buddsoddiad newydd yma’n ein galluogi i ymestyn cyrhaeddiad ein gwasanaethau newyddion ymhlith cynulleidfaoedd iau a gwella’r dadansoddiad o’r straeon mawr sy’n siapio Cymru heddiw.”

Mae’r BBC hefyd wedi cadarnhau heddiw y bydd yn cymryd camau sylweddol ychwanegol – yn ogystal â’r buddsoddiad o £8.5m – i wella sut mae Cymru yn cael ei phortreadu ar draws sianeli rhwydwaith y BBC. Mae’r rhain yn cynnwys:

  • Penodi comisiynydd drama teledu i Gymru
  • Cyflwyno tîm Writersroom y BBC i Gymru i gefnogi datblygiad sgriptwyr drama a chomedi
  • Cyflwyno cronfa bortreadu gwerth £2m i gefnogi datblygiad rhaglenni ffeithiol, drama a chomedi i sicrhau ein bod yn adlewyrchu’r cenhedloedd datganoledig yn well
  • Cyflwyno amcanion portreadu ar y sgrin i dimau cynhyrchu rhwydwaith gan gynnwys timau drama, ffeithiol a chomedi
  • Ymrwymiad parhaus i gynhyrchu o leiaf 5% o raglenni rhwydwaith o Gymru – targed sydd wedi ei churo yn gyson dros yr wyth mlynedd diwethaf diolch i lwyddiant BBC Cymru a chynhyrchwyr annibynnol i’r rhwydwaith. Yn 2015/16, roedd y buddsoddiad yma’n werth £61.7m
  • Ymrwymiad i weithio mewn partneriaeth gyda chorff arfaethedig Llywodraeth Cymru, Cymru Creadigol i gefnogi datblygiad y diwydiannau creadigol ar draws Cymru

NTW