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Radio 1-4 etc, nan Gàidheal...

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:14 am
by Seonaidh
Seo na chuir am BBC thugam nuair a dh'innis mi gum b' ann glè dhona na seirbheisean FM is DAB sa Ghàidhealtachd 's na h-Eileanan. Gu dearbh, tha iad ag ràdh "Distributing BBC ALBA on broadband as an alternative to Freeview was ruled out due to relatively low broadband take-up and slow broadband speeds in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands and Islands." Agus seo am puing agam - mar do BhBC Alba, mar do Radio nan Gàidheal amsaa. Spiocairean!
BBC wrote:Thank you for contacting us.

I have noted your concerns about BBC Alba. The Trust reached the decision to make BBC ALBA available to viewers in Scotland on Freeview, following a careful and thorough review of the service.

The review looked at how well the channel is serving Gaelic speakers, how well it is attracting new and non-speakers, and how it should be made available to audiences in the future. Continuation of the BBC ALBA service was dependent on a successful review by the Trust. The review included a public consultation which drew over 5,000 responses.

Overall the Trust concluded that BBC ALBA is performing well and achieving its aims, and as you are aware decided that it should be carried on Freeview. The Trust has approved the BBC Executive's proposal to remove the BBC's thirteen radio stations from Freeview, in Scotland only, during the hours BBC ALBA is broadcasting, as the most technically and financially viable way of enabling BBC ALBA to be carried on Freeview.

On Freeview carriage, the BBC Executive explored and ruled out a range of possibilities for making BBC ALBA more widely available. For example, buying spectrum was ruled out due to the prohibitive cost. The removal of a red button stream or BBC Parliament from Freeview was also ruled out due to the likely loss of significant public value. Distributing BBC ALBA on broadband as an alternative to Freeview was ruled out due to relatively low broadband take-up and slow broadband speeds in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands and Islands.

National Trustee for Scotland Jeremy Peat has said:

"…Carrying ALBA on Freeview will bring the service to a much wider audience across Scotland – it's been clear from our review that there are strong views about the future of the service and this has not been a straightforward decision, but we believe that it's the option that really offers the most benefit for licence fee payers in Scotland."

The Trust does however expect the Executive to continue to explore whether the development of technologies which use spectrum more efficiently might enable some radio services on DTT in Scotland to be maintained alongside BBC ALBA in the future, subject to the normal value for money and public value considerations.

You can find full details of the review on the Trust’s website at: ... alba.shtml

Thanks once again for taking the time to contact us.

Re: Radio 1-4 etc, nan Gàidheal...

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:44 am
by GunChleoc
Uill, mura h-eil an t-eadar-lìn luath gu leòr an Alba, chan eil a' Bheeb as coireach ach na comanaidhean a nì seirbhisein eadar-lìn.

Ach bha iad ro mhall BBC Alba a chur air Freeview.

Re: Radio 1-4 etc, nan Gàidheal...

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:51 pm
by An Gobaire
Chan eil e fìor gu bheil "slow broadband take-up" air tìr-mòr na Gàidhealtachd agus anns an Eilean Sgitheanach. Chan aithne dhomh duine aig nach eil ceangal bann-leathainn san Eilean seo.

Re: Radio 1-4 etc, nan Gàidheal...

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:20 pm
by Seonaidh
Barrachd! Mar athuirt iad, "...but a small group of licence fee payers were listening to those services at that time of day on Freeview, and valuing the ability to do so." Carson? A chionn 's nach robh - agus nach eil - na steiseanan ud rim fhaotainn, far a bheil iad a' fuireach, air FM no DAB. 'S math a dh'fjaodte gun cuir iad "great deal of thought and analysis into the decisions we took", ach cha do chuir iad airgead gu leòr ann.
BBC wrote:Dear Seonaidh
Your Reference: CAS-940614-491RJL
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the loss of radio channels on the Freeview platform.
Firstly we’d like to apologise for the previous response which was sent to you in error.
The Head of Gaelic Services has asked that I forward her response as follows:

“A Sheonaidh choir,

Tapadh leibh airson sgrìobhadh thugainn (post-d air an 8mh Lùnastal 2011) mu dheidhinn na co-dhùnaidhean co-cheangailte ri BBC ALBA a bhi air Freeview. Se gnothaich toinnte a th’ann, as fheàrr a’ mhìneachadh leis an neach a tha os cionn dòigh craolaidh seirbheisean a’ BhBC, Alix Pryde, Director, BBC Distribution. Seo cunntas bhuaipe air an t-suidheachadh agus mar a chaidh an co-dhùnadh a ghabhail:

“We've recently had to make some difficult choices at the BBC about how we use our digital TV capacity in Scotland. I thought it would be worth sharing the thinking behind our decisions, including how we were influenced by a principle in the BBC Charter and Agreement and insight about audiences' listening and viewing habits.

BBC ALBA, the Gaelic language TV channel operated by BBC in partnership with MG ALBA, launched on Freeview in Scotland on 8 June.

BBC ALBA has been available on satellite (Sky and Freesat) for some time and launched on Virgin Media cable on 18 May 2011. The Freeview launch is the final piece of the jigsaw that will make BBC ALBA available to all TV homes in Scotland This will extend the reach of this public service channel allowing it to do more to meet its remit to serve Gaelic-speaking audiences and those who wish to learn the language. Crucially, the Freeview launch supports the universality principle in the BBC Agreement that asks us to give licence fee payers convenient access to the services that are intended for them.

To make space for this new service on Freeview affordably, the BBC Trust gave approval for BBC ALBA to broadcast in Scotland in the evening in place of the thirteen BBC radio services (see below for list) that we currently broadcast. The BBC Trust also challenged BBC Management to look at affordable technical solutions that would allow some radio services to be retained around the clock.

I am pleased to confirm that we have been able to retain three radio services while BBC ALBA is on-air. We decided to prioritise radio stations that are unavailable on FM, to maximise the convenient availability of our radio stations to licence fee payers. Unfortunately we couldn't make space for all seven stations that don't have full FM coverage, so we looked at audiences' radio listening habits on digital television in the evenings and gave priority to the ones that were the most listened to. As a result, the stations that will remain on Freeview in Scotland 24/7 are:
• BBC Radio 5 Live
• BBC Radio 1 Xtra
• BBC Radio 6 Music.
Six of the other radio stations will still be available to listeners on FM radio. The other four remain available on DAB digital radio, free-to-air digital satellite and at

BBC ALBA's transmission hours are:
• Weekdays: 5pm to midnight
• Saturday: 4pm to 1am
• Sundays: 4pm to midnight.
Outside these hours, all thirteen BBC radio services will continue to be available on Freeview in Scotland as now.

We hope that the vast majority of people affected by this change will continue to listen to our radio services by other means, such as FM radio, DAB digital radio, free-to-air digital satellite and at You may be interested to hear that the roll out of the BBC's UK-wide DAB digital radio service continues in Scotland over the summer and into the autumn to bring more people into coverage of the network, extending even as far as Shetland.

This wasn't an easy set of decisions to make - prioritising BBC ALBA over the radio services and then prioritising the more popular digital-only services over the others. The fact remains that in making BBC ALBA available to all TV households in Scotland, in keeping with what the BBC Agreement expects us to do, we have taken away for some parts of the day one option for listening to some of our radio stations. We have sought to minimise the adverse impact on listeners, but a small group of licence fee payers were listening to those services at that time of day on Freeview, and valuing the ability to do so. I regret that these people will be disappointed. The truth is that we had to balance the limited resource of capacity against the overall audience benefit.

Finally, I hope this explanation gives reassurance that we put a great deal of thought and analysis into the decisions we took, weighing up the difficult balances carefully.

Six that are available on FM: BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio nan Gaidheal and BBC Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4. One that is available on MW: BBC Radio 5Live.

And six that are available digitally only: BBC Radios 1Xtra, 4Extra, 5Live Sports Extra, 6Music, BBC Asian Network and the BBC World Service.”

Tapadh leibh airson sgrìobhadh thugainn le ar beachdan, tha e cudthromach gun cluinn sinn bhon luchd cleachdaidh againn. Ma tha sibh mi riaraichte leis an fhreagairt seo agus ma tha sibh airson ar beachdan a thoirt nas fhaide dh’fhaodadh sibh an cuir gu Urras a’ BhBC mar a leanas:

BBC Trust Unit,
180 Great Portland St,

Leis gach deagh dhùrachd.”

I’d also like to assure you I've registered your complaint on our audience log. This is an internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily and is available for viewing by all our staff. This includes all programme makers and commissioning executives, along with our senior management. It ensures that your points, along with all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.

Thanks once again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind regards

Philip Boyce
BBC Audience Services

Re: Radio 1-4 etc, nan Gàidheal...

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:23 pm
by Níall Beag
Radio takes up a lot less internet bandwidth than video.

Re: Radio 1-4 etc, nan Gàidheal...

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:39 am
by GunChleoc
Just some technical info on FM radio - physically, there is only so much bandwidth available across the FM band as a whole. The FM band as a whole can not be expanded, since it has to do with carrier waves travelling the air. So, every radio station gets a designated chunk out of that. If the chunk is too small, transmission quality will deteriorate, so from a certain point there is no bandwidth left to add extra stations, and even money couldn't buy it when everything has already been allocated. It's easier with digital radion, since there is more space available for lots more stations.