Feeds

BBC pumps 60 quid a head into Gaelic

Dead language not responding to flogging

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.