Gaelic TV channel secures £5.2m of new content

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A series of international deals has secured programmes worth £5.2 million for Scotland’s Gaelic language channel.

Gaelic media service MG Alba said it had agreed the additional content for BBC Alba through deals led by its supplier companies.

BBC Scotland offices at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

BBC Scotland offices at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

It will see the channel’s suppliers team up with production companies in Germany, Denmark, Iceland, France, Norway and Canada.

For BBC Alba viewers it means new programmes will be available that otherwise would have been unaffordable, MG Alba said.

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Iseabail Mactaggart, director of strategy and partnership, said: “For our audiences it marks a very substantial investment in BBC Alba programming, which is great news.

“It demonstrates that not only can funding in Gaelic broadcasting leverage growth in the volume of content for the channel but can also be used to drive the growth of our suppliers, including through international partnerships.”

Some of the programmes expected to be broadcast in 2018/19 include The Far Traveller and Bridge over the Atlantic, a Canadian Scottish co-production featuring musicians from both sides of the Atlantic.

The deals include a further series of Port, the channel’s music programme.

Margaret Cameron, MG Alba channel editor, said: “These deals allow us to offer the BBC Alba audience additional high-end content that would have been outwith our capacity if operating alone.

“They are delivering a rich range of programming across musical, factual and drama genres which will really add value and sparkle to the BBC Alba schedule while offering our artists and producers opportunities to tell their stories on an international stage.”

MG Alba is based in Stornoway and is funded by the Scottish Government.