MSPs urge BBC to make BBC ALBA available on Freeview

30 December 2009


Peter Peacock, Highlands and Islands regional Labour MSP, along with Rhoda Grant and David Stewart, has written to the Chair of the BBC Trust, urging them to make BBC ALBA available on Freeview.

It comes as the trust undertakes a review of the service.

Peter Peacock said: "BBC ALBA provides a valuable service to the Gaelic speaking communities of the Highlands and Islands with its high quality programming and community emphasis.

"It is hard to overestimate the importance of this service in ensuring the survival and promotion of Gaelic language and culture.

"It is public service broadcasting at its best and the BBC and the Trust should be commended for taking steps to launch it.

"For its continued survival and to develop its audiences, BBC ALBA must ensure the greatest available access and provision of the services provided by the channel.

"However, because of the make up of the Highlands and Islands, there are many who do not have access to satellite and cable television for financial and logistical reasons.

Mr Peacock added: "It is vitally important that the BBC Trustees commit to ensuring the provision of BBC ALBA on Freeview in advance of the Digital Switchover.

"Without this, there is the real danger of BBC ALBA disenfranchising the very communities it is intending to reach.

"The BBC Trust is currently reviewing the service and I would hope the service will be carried on Freeview after this review."


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