Gaelic Media Facts


Amazing the value for money in Gaelic broadcasting. It survives on small budgets and punches way above its weight.

The BBC invests £4.9m in BBC Alba which achieves a 15.9% reach and 1hr 53mins average viewing time per week. For an investment of £50m in BBC4, the corporation achieves a 14.2% reach and just 1hr 44 mins viewing time per week. BBC3 costs £89.7m, achieves a 23.2% reach and 1hr 58 mins per week average viewing time.

The real cracker is £1.129 billion on BBC1 which achieves 7hr 51mins viewing per week while good old BBC Radio nan Gàidheal receives just £3.8m and achieves an average 7hrs 6mins listening.

‘S math a rinn sibh a tha an-sàs ann an craoladh Gàidhlig – beò air glè bheag de bhuidseat ach a’ soirbheachadh a dh’aindheoin sin!

Comments (9)

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  1. Aye but they still use that slanted weather map to keep it looking like Scotland/Alba is much smaller than we really are.

  2. Neil McRae says:

    Much as I enjoy Alba it has to be said that its portrayal of the Highlands is not comprehensive but tends to the anodyne and reassuring, with for example no debate on the true state of Gaelic or, perhaps the real elephant in the room: the desperate need for land reform.

  3. Jim says:

    Is this BBC investment of £4.9 million in BBC Alba inclusive of the contribution from the Scottish government or not?

    I’m looking through the BBC’s annual report at present and haven’t yet come to that bit!

    1. Arthur Cormack says:

      No it doesn’t include the Scottish Government contribution. But even with that, the channel has a budget approximately half of BBC4.

  4. Iain says:

    BBC Alba is the best BBC service we get in Scotland. Let us cherish it. Why would people talk it down?

  5. Jim says:

    Thanks Arthur,

    Although I’m not a gaelic speaker I have been known to defend the language and call for more funding for it. I asked the question on that basis and tI hank you for your response.

  6. Jim says:


  7. Neil McRae says:

    Arthur’s claim that BBC Alba achieves a higher reach than BBC Four always sounded a bit improbable to me. When I went back and checked the figures, sure enough BBC Alba achieves a 15.6% reach – in Scotland! Whereas BBC Four has a 14.2% reach in the whole of the UK, dwarfing BBC Alba’s viewing figures AND it’s programmes are cheaper to produce (6.8p per user hour compared with Alba’s 7.4p).

    As for comparing the cost of Radio nan Gàidheal’s programming favourably with that of the entirety of BBC1 – is this man serious?

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