Feeds

BBC pumps 60 quid a head into Gaelic

Dead language not responding to flogging

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The BBC's Gaelic-language channel, BBC Alba, has seen its audience drop by a third since launch, with further drops expected as Scottish politicians desperately try to be seen doing something about the death of Gaelic.

The channel started four months ago, with more than 600,000 viewers, a total that has already dropped to 400,000. BBC Scotland told The Times it expects to see figures dropping to around 250,000, despite the channel showing Scottish Premier League football.

At the time of the 2001 census there were only 58,650 Gaelic speakers in Scotland, which is what prompted the launch of the Freesat and Sky available channel. That means that hundreds of thousands of viewers are tuning in to see programmes in a language they don't understand, or perhaps just to watch the football. Given that between 80-100,000 Scots brave the weather each week to watch a game in person, it's hardly surprising that BBC Alba can drum up twice that number to watch League games on TV, even if the commentary is in Gaelic.

Strangely, the channel won't be drawn on what people are watching, just that the target is 250,000 viewers, or 60 quid per viewer.

Gaelic has been on life support for years - drive up to the Highlands and the signposts are in Gaelic and English, but pull off the A9 and the Gaelic disappears along with the tourists. Schools and playgroups get government funding for promoting Gaelic, and local libraries are well stocked with Gaelic books - all in pristine condition, almost as though no one ever reads them. English migrants like to see their kids learning Gaelic, while the locals would prefer their children learn something someone else speaks - ideally someone with money.

Popular programmes are broadcast in Gaelic on the primary BBC channels - so even without BBC Alba you don't have to miss out on badly dubbed Charlie and Lola.

But Scotland has a culture quite strong enough to survive without demanding a different language. The problem is that it's hard to spend money promoting "culture" when everyone has their own idea what that is. So the Scottish Parliament, and the BBC, instead spend money promoting a language hardly anyone speaks, while forgetting that anyone who does speak Gaelic is perfectly fluent in English too - for when they're not talking to the tourists. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.