Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon, a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol

Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee

04/10/2023

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Alun Davies
Delyth Jewell Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Hefin David
Llyr Gruffydd
Tom Giffard

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Eleanor Marks Ofcom
Ofcom
Kate Biggs Ofcom
Ofcom
Michael Grade Ofcom
Ofcom
Rhodri Williams S4C
S4C
Siân Doyle S4C
S4C

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Haidee James Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
Lleu Williams Clerc
Clerk
Manon Huws Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Robin Wilkinson Ymchwilydd
Researcher
Rhea James Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor yn y Senedd a thrwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:29.

The committee met in the Senedd and by video-conference.

The meeting began at 09:29.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Bore da. Croeso i bawb i'r cyfarfod hwn o'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol. Rŷn ni wedi cael ymddiheuriadau'r bore yma gan Carolyn Thomas. Fe wnaf i ofyn a oes gan unrhyw Aelodau buddiannau i'w datgan. Dwi ddim yn gweld bod, felly gwnawn ni symud yn syth ymlaen.

Good morning. Welcome, all, to this meeting of the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee. We have received apologies from Carolyn Thomas this morning. I'll ask whether any Members have any declarations of interest. I don't see that they do, so we'll move straight on.

09:30
2. Darlledu Gwasanaeth Cyhoeddus yng Nghymru: sesiwn dystiolaeth gydag S4C (1)
2. Public service broadcasting in Wales: evidence session with S4C (1)

Dŷn ni heddiw yn craffu ar ddarlledu yng Nghymru, a dŷn ni'n cael ein sesiwn gyntaf gydag S4C. Fe wnaf i ofyn i'n tystion gyflwyno'u hunain ar gyfer y record, ac fe wnaf i fynd at Siân yn gyntaf.

Today we have the scrutiny of broadcasting in Wales, and the first session is with S4C. I'll ask our witnesses to introduce themselves for the record, and I'll go to Siân first.

Siân Doyle, prif weithredwraig S4C.

Siân Doyle, chief executive officer of S4C.

Rhodri Williams, cadeirydd bwrdd unedol cysgodol S4C. Hoffwn i, gan ein bod ni ar y record, ddatgan diddordeb. Bues i'n gweithio i Ofcom am 14 blynedd, ac mae fy ngwraig, Elinor Williams, hefyd yn parhau i weithio i Ofcom. Dwi'n siŵr y byddaf i'n cyfeirio at Ofcom rywbryd yn ystod y sesiwn, so roeddwn i eisiau gwneud hynny'n glir ar y dechrau. Diolch.

Rhodri Williams, chair of the shadow unitary board of S4C. As we are on the record, I'd like to declare an interest. I worked for Ofcom for 14 years, and my wife, Elinor Williams, continues to work for Ofcom. I'm sure I will refer to Ofcom at some point during the session, so I wanted to make that clear at the outset. Thank you.

Diolch am egluro hynny. Gwnawn ni symud yn syth ymlaen at y cwestiynau, os ydy hynny'n iawn, ac rŷn ni'n dechrau gydag Alun Davies.

Thank you for explaining that. We'll go straight to questions, if that's okay, and we'll start with Alun Davies.

Gaf i ofyn i chi a ydy S4C yn gynaliadwy ar hyn o bryd?

May I ask you whether S4C is sustainable at the moment?

Wel, mae'r setliad gawson ni ddwy flynedd yn ôl wedi bod yn fflat am y ddwy flynedd diwethaf, ond mae'n rhaid dweud, roedd y setliad yna'n cynnwys £7.5 miliwn ychwanegol er mwyn inni allu gwireddu'n strategaeth ni o 2022 i 2027. Mae wedi bod yn heriol o ran chwyddiant, rŷn ni wedi gweld bod y costau wedi codi dipyn, ond er hynny, dŷn ni'n gweld bod ein cynulleidfa ni wedi tyfu—y gorau ers pum mlynedd. Felly, rŷn ni'n dal wedi dod â gwasanaeth sydd yn denu mwy o bobl at S4C. A beth dŷn ni'n falch i ddweud ydy bod y cynnwys rŷn ni wedi bod yn ei greu wedi dod â chynulleidfaoedd ifancach—y gorau ers degawd—i'r sianel.

Mae'n rhaid inni ddiolch o galon i'n partneriaid ni. Rŷn ni wedi gwneud lot o waith gyda'n partneriaid ni yn y sector—

Well, the settlement we got two years ago has been flat for the past two years, but I have to say that that settlement included an additional £7.5 million for us to deliver our strategy from 2022 to 2027. It has been challenging in terms of inflation, we have seen costs increase substantially, however we're seeing that our audience has grown—the figures are the best for five years. So, we've continued to provide a service that attracts more viewers to S4C. And what we're pleased to say is that the content that we have been creating has been bringing younger audiences—the best figures for a decade in that regard—to the channel.

We do have to thank our partners. We've worked hard with our partners in the sector—

Gaf i stopio chi, Siân? Dwi ddim yn anghytuno gyda beth dŷch chi'n ei ddweud, gyda llaw—

Can I just stop you, Siân? I don't disagree with what you're saying, by the way—

Dwi'n credu bod perfformiad S4C yn dda iawn, fel mae'n digwydd. Cwestiwn gwahanol gofynnais i, achos dŷn ni wedi gweld bod cyllideb S4C wedi gostwng yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf, yn real, ac ar lefel chwyddiant—a dŷn ni wedi gweld chwyddiant anhygoel dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, yn arbennig yn y diwydiant darlledu, wrth gwrs. So, mae pob un o'ch cyllidebau chi wedi'u torri ac mae hyn yn digwydd yn ystod cyfnod pan mae'r gystadleuaeth yn cryfhau. So, pan dwi'n edrych ar bobl—Cymry Cymraeg fel ninnau i gyd—sut ydych chi'n gallu cystadlu yn y byd newydd gyda llai o adnoddau?

I think S4C's performance is very good, as it happens. I asked a different question, because we have seen that S4C's budget has reduced recently, in real terms, and with the inflation level—and we've seen exceptional inflation over the last few years, particularly in the broadcasting industry, of course. So, all of your budgets have been cut and this is happening during a time when the competition is increasing. So, when I look at people—Welsh speakers such as ourselves—how can you compete in this new world with fewer resources?

Dwi'n credu ein bod ni wedi bod yn dda iawn o ran ein overheads ni a gwneud yn siŵr ein bod ni'n rhoi cymaint ag ŷn ni'n gallu—mae ein canran ni'n cynnwys hynny. Ac rŷn ni wedi blaenoriaethu ein strategaeth ni o fynd ar ôl plant a drama a chwaraeon, ac rŷn ni'n gwybod bod hwnna'n gweithio.

Mae'n rhaid dweud ein bod ni wedi defnyddio tamaid bach o reserves o raglenni a oedd gyda ni drwy COVID, so mae'r rheini wedi'n helpu ni yn y ddwy flynedd diwethaf, ac rŷn ni'n aros nawr am y gyllideb am—. Y darn heriol i ni ar hyn o bryd ydy'r chwyddiant o ran pethau fel drama, lle dŷn ni wedi cael chwyddiant real yn hwnna, ond hefyd mae rheolau newydd Equity a BECTU hefyd wedi'u creu. So, mae ein darpariaeth ddrama ni'n heriol tu hwnt. Rŷn ni'n dal i barhau achos rŷn ni'n gwybod bod hwnna'n bwysig, ond mae'n rhaid dweud, dyw hwnna ddim yn hawdd ar hyn o bryd. Drwy bartneru gyda'r sector, rŷn ni wedi gallu dod trwy'r ddwy flynedd diwethaf yma. Rŷn ni nawr yn disgwyl clywed beth yw'r chwyddiant rŷn ni'n mynd i gael, achos mae ein setliad ni wedi bod yn fflat am y ddwy flynedd diwethaf, ond yn y flwyddyn sydd i ddod, byddwn ni'n gweld beth sy'n dod gan y Llywodraeth o ran y mynegai prisiau defnyddwyr, ac mae hwnna'n mynd i'n helpu ni mas dipyn, mae'n rhaid i fi ddweud.

Ydy e'n anodd? Ydy, ond rŷn ni wedi bod yn blaenoriaethu'r cynnwys, achos, yn y diwedd, dyna'r gynulleidfa.

I think we've been very careful in terms of our overheads and making sure that we give as much as we can—our percentage includes that. And we've prioritised our strategy of pursuing children, drama and sport, and we know that that is working.

I have to say that we have used some of our reserves from programming through COVID, which has helped over the past two years, and we're now awaiting the budget for—. The most challenging aspect for us now is inflation in terms of things like drama, where we've seen real-terms inflation there, but also the new Equity and BECTU rules have led to increased costs. So, our drama provision is very challenged, we still continue because we know how important it is, but I have to ay that that isn't easy at the moment. In partnership with the sector, we've been able to get through the past two years. We're now waiting to hear what the inflation will be, because our settlement has been flat for the past two years, but in the next year, we will see what's being provided by Government in terms of the consumer price index, and that will help us out, I have to say.

Is it difficult? Of course, yes, but we've been prioritising content, because, at the end of the day, that's what attracts audiences.

Ond mae cynnwys, wrth gwrs, yn gynyddol yn fwyfwy drud. Dwi wedi bod yn mwynhau watsio S4C yn ystod Cwpan Rygbi'r Byd—mae'n help bod Cymru'n ennill, wrth gwrs—ond mae hefyd yn wir fod beth dwi'n gweld yw rhaglenni S4C, wrth gwrs, yn adlewyrchu'n diwylliant ni a'n diwylliant rygbi ni, ac mae pob un ohonon ni sy'n mwynhau hynny'n gweld ein diwylliant ni ar y sgrin. Dwi'n credu bod hynny wedi bod yn llwyddiannus, ond—. Dwi'n cymryd mai chwaraeon sy'n dal i fod yn brif raglenni S4C o ran y niferoedd o bobl sy'n gwylio, ond mae fy nghwestiwn i'n mynd y tu hwnt i hynny. Dŷch chi wedi ateb cwestiynau amboutu'r ddwy flynedd diwethaf, a dwi'n derbyn hynny, ond mewn cyd-destun o fwy a mwy o gystadleuaeth a phobl yn gwylio'r rhaglenni a chynnwys mewn ffyrdd gwahanol, fel dŷn ni wedi bod yn trafod dros ddegawdau, mae'n teimlo, pa mor gynaliadwy ydy S4C fel darlledwr annibynnol gyda chyllideb o lai na £100 miliwn y flwyddyn?

But content, of course, is more and more expensive. I've been enjoying watching S4C during the Rugby World Cup—it helps that Wales is winning, of course—but it's also true that what I see in S4C's programmes, of course, is that they reflect our culture and our rugby culture, each of us who enjoys that sees that culture on the screen. I think that has been successful, but—. I take it that sport is still the mainstay of S4C programmes in terms of viewers, but my question goes beyond that. You've answered questions about the last two years, and I accept that, but in a context of more and more competition and people watching the programmes and content in different forms, as we've discussed over decades, it feels like, how sustainable is S4C as an independent broadcaster with a budget of less than £100 million a year?

09:35

Gaf i droi'r sylw, yn hytrach na'r presennol, at y dyfodol, oherwydd dwi'n credu—

May I turn the attention, rather than focusing on the present, to the future, because—

Wel, dwi ishie ichi ateb y cwestiwn, Rhodri.

Well, I want you to answer the question, Rhodri.

Wel, dyna yw'r cwestiwn. Rŷn ni'n gwybod bod y setliad presennol—mae yna dair blynedd ohono fe i fynd ac mae yna chwyddiant yn mynd i fod ynghlwm â hynny. Felly, mae yna sicrwydd gyda ni am dair blynedd. Y cwestiwn mawr, ac i fi y cwestiwn mawr i ddarlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus yng Nghymru yn ei gyfanrwydd yw dyfodol y ffi drwydded. Nawr, rŷn ni'n gwybod bod yr Adran dros Ddiwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon yn Llundain yn mynd i ymgynghori ar ddyfodol y ffi drwydded, ac mae hwnna'n gwbl allweddol. Nid yn unig mae'n ariannu gwasanaethau'r BBC yn Gymraeg ac yn Saesneg, mae'n ein hariannu ni. Ond fe fyddwn i hefyd yn dadlau, pe bai yna gwtogi ar ddarlledu sy'n cael ei ariannu gan y ffi drwydded yng Nghymru, fe welem ni gwtogi pellach ar wasanaethau masnachol o gyfeiriad ITV. Wrth gwrs, mae'n gwbl briodol, dwi'n credu, fod y Llywodraeth yn cynnal adolygiad o'r ffi drwydded. Fe allwch chi—

Well, that is the question. We know that the current settlement—there is three years of that to go and inflation will affect that. So, we do have certainty over the next three years. But the major question, and for me the major question for public service broadcasting in Wales in its entirety is the future of the licence fee. Now, we know that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in London will consult on the future of the licence fee, and that is key. Not only does it fund the services of the BBC in Welsh and in English, it also funds us. But I would also argue, were there to be a cut in broadcasting funded through the licence fee in Wales, we would see further cuts in commercial services from ITV too. Of course, it's entirely appropriate, I think, that the Government conducts a review of the licence fee—

Ydy, a dwi ddim yn credu bod neb yn gallu dweud dyna'r unig ffordd posibl o ariannu darlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus. Beth sy'n bwysig o'm safbwynt i yw beth yw'r bwriad. Ai'r bwriad fydd ffeindio'r ffordd orau o ariannu darlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus sydd yn cael ei ariannu'n uniongyrchol ac efallai symud i system arall o godi'r un faint o arian, neu oes yna fwriad cudd fan hyn i geisio defnyddio'r ymarfer yma i dorri nôl yn bennaf ar wariant y BBC? Ond pe bai hynny'n digwydd, fe fyddai yna dorri nôl ar ein gwasanaethau ni hefyd. Fe fyddwn i'n mawr obeithio taw y cyntaf o'r rheini yw e, mai chwilio am ffordd—. I fi, dyna yw y pwnc pwysicaf, ynghyd â Mesur y cyfryngau, a soniwn ni am hwnna eto, efallai. Ond dyma yw y pwnc pwysicaf, llawer iawn pwysicach, yn fy marn i, na pheth o'r drafodaeth sydd wedi bod yn sgil sefydlu'r panel arbenigol ar ddatganoli darlledu.

Yes, and I don't think anyone would say that that's the only possible way of funding public service broadcasting. But what's important from my perspective is what is the intention here. Is it the intention to find the best way of funding public service broadcasting that is directly funded and perhaps moving to another system of raising the same amount of money, or is there a hidden intention here of trying to use this exercise to cut back, mainly on the BBC's expenditure? If that were to happen, there would be cuts to our services too. I would very much hope that it would be the first scenario, that they were seeking a way to fund it properly. For me, that is the most important topic as well as the media Bill, and I'm sure we'll come on to that. But this is the major issue, far more important, in my view, than some of the discussion that's taken place in light of the establishment of the expert panel on broadcasting devolution.

Dwi'n cytuno gyda hynny i gyd, a dwi'n gwerthfawrogi hynny. Dwi'n credu ei fod e'n bwysig, a dwi wastad wedi meddwl dylai S4C gael ei hariannu trwy'r ffi drwydded a ddim yn uniongyrchol gan Lywodraeth San Steffan. Dwi'n meddwl bod hynny'n beth pwysig, ac felly dwi'n cytuno gyda eich pwyntiau chi. Ond dyw hynny ddim yn ateb y cwestiwn gofynnais i. Ydy'r gyllideb, y strwythur presennol, yn gynaliadwy?

I agree with all of that, and I appreciate what you've said. I think it's important; I've always felt that S4C should be funded through the licence fee and not directly by the Westminster Government. I think that is an important issue, and so I agree with your points. But that doesn't answer the question I asked. Is the budget, the current structure, sustainable?

Mae'n dibynnu beth fydd canlyniad y trafodaethau ar y ffi drwydded yn gyfan gwbl.

It depends what the outcome of the discussions on the licence fee will be.

So, os nad ydych chi'n cael beth dŷch chi ei angen, dyw e ddim yn gynaliadwy.

So, if you don't receive what you require, it's not sustainable.

O na. Hynny yw, gallai S4C ddim bodoli yn y byd masnachol. Dim ond trwy gael sybsidi cyhoeddus—

No, of course not. S4C couldn't exist in the commercial sphere. It's only by having public subsidy—

—allwn ni fodoli. Felly mae e'n dibynnu ar yr adolygiad hwnnw. Gallwch chi newid y drefn ariannu, ond os nad yw'r ariannu—. O'n safbwynt ni, mae'n rhaid iddo fe fod yn—

—that we can survive. So, it does depend on that review. You can change the funding regime, but if—. From our perspective—

Wel, mae eisiau o leiaf yr un lefel o ariannu—

Well, we want at least the same level of funding—

Ie, mewn termau real. Mae'n rhaid iddo fe fod yn gynaliadwy am gyfnod. Mae'n rhaid iddo fe fod yn rhagweladwy. Mae'n rhaid cael sefydlogrwydd. Dyw hwn ddim yn ddiwydiant lle gallwch chi newid cyfeiriad o fis i fis—mae angen amser i gynllunio, i gomisiynu dramâu, er enghraifft, peth o'n harlwy pwysicaf ni fel sianel. Mae'r pipeline o gynllunio yn digwydd dros flynyddoedd. Felly, mae'r drafodaeth yma ynghylch, yn hytrach na dyfodol y ffi drwydded, dyfodol ariannu darlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus yn gwbl allweddol, a dim ond pan glywn ni beth yw canlyniad y broses honno mae modd dod ag ateb y cwestiwn yn uniongyrchol. Achos heb ateb boddhaol i hwnna, dydw i ddim yn siŵr ein bod ni'n gynaliadwy, na. Mae'n rhaid cael ffynhonnell ariannol ddigonol, dibynadwy, rhagweladwy.

Yes, in real terms. It has to be sustainable over a period of time. It has to be something you can forecast. We must have stability. This isn't an industry where you can change direction from month to month—you need time to plan, to commission drama, for example, some of our most important output as a channel. The planning pipeline happens over a period of years. So, this discussion, rather than looking at the future of the licence fee, is about the future of the funding of public service broadcasting, and that's crucial. It's only when we hear the outcome of that process can we respond directly to your question. Because without a proper answer to that, then I'm not sure that we are sustainable, no. We do have to have an adequate, reliable, predictable funding source.

09:40

Ac ail ran y cwestiwn, wrth gwrs, yw annibyniaeth S4C. Fel dŷch chi’n gwybod, roeddwn i’n arfer gweithio i S4C ugain mlynedd yn ôl, ac un o'r pethau roedd pobl yn mynnu amddiffyn oedd annibyniaeth S4C ac annibyniaeth fel darlledwr annibynnol, a gobeithio y gwnes i’r job. Ond pa mor bwysig yw e yn y dyfodol, achos mae e wedi bod eich bod chi’n agos iawn at y BBC, a dŷch chi’n rhan o diriogaeth gyhoeddus Cymru? Ydy’r annibyniaeth yn fwy o ffug annibyniaeth, neu ydy e’n bwysig i chi fel darlledwr wrth fynd i’r dyfodol?

And the second part of the question, of course, is the independence of S4C. As you know, I used to work for S4C 20 years ago, and one of the things that people wanted to defend then was the independence of S4C and its independence as a broadcaster, and hopefully I did that job. But how important is it in the future, because you're very close to the BBC, and you are part of the public landscape of Wales? Is the independence more of a fake independence, or is important to you as a broadcaster as you look to the future?

Mae’n annibyniaeth ni o ran creu cynnwys i’n cynulleidfa yn Gymraeg yn hollol glir i fi, ac mae’r pwrpas yn hollol glir. Dyw hynny ddim yn golygu ein bod ni ddim yn gweithio gyda phartneriaid, ac mae’r BBC yn un o’n partneriaid ni. Rŷn ni’n gweithio gyda ITV, rŷn ni’n gwerthu pethau nawr i Netflix. A nôl i’r cwestiwn: mae fel ŷn ni’n gweithio gyda phobl a pheidio â bod yn ynys ar ben ein hunain yng Nghymru yn hynod o bwysig yn yr—

Our independence in terms of creating content to an audience in Wales is entirely clear, and our purpose is clear. That doesn't mean that we don't work with partners, and the BBC is one of our partners. We work with ITV, too; we now sell programmes to Netflix. And back to your question: the way that we work with people and not being isolated within Wales is extremely important—

Does gen i ddim beirniadaeth o’r ffordd mae S4C wedi creu partneriaeth—

I don't have criticism of that and the way that S4C has created partnership—

Na, na, dwi’n gwybod.

No, no, I know.

Dwi’n credu ei fod e wedi bod yn bwysig ac mae wedi bod yn hwylus ac mae e wedi gweithio.

I think it's important and it has worked.

Ydy, ac mae mwy—

Yes, and more—

A dŷch chi’n gweld hynny yn y cynnwys. Fy nghwestiwn i oedd: sut fath o annibyniaeth o ran rheolaeth?

You can see that in the content. But the question I had was in terms of independence in terms of management.

Wel, o ran ein strwythur ni, mae’r bwrdd unedol cysgodol yn annibynnol, ac o’m mhrofiad i ers bod yn gadeirydd, does yna ddim unrhyw arlliw o ymyrraeth wleidyddol o gyfeiriad y Llywodraeth yn San Steffan. Maen nhw’n ymddiried ynddon ni. I ddweud y gwir, maen nhw wedi bod yn hynod o gefnogol i ni yn ystod y cyfnod hwnnw, so does gen i ddim unrhyw amheuon am agwedd ac ymarweddiad y Llywodraeth yn San Steffan tuag aton ni, a hefyd mae’r un peth yn wir am y BBC. Does yna ddim ymyrraeth gan y BBC yn ein gwaith ni.

In terms of our structure, the shadow unitary board is independent, and from my experience of being chair, there is no question of political intervention from the Westminster Government. They trust in us. And to be honest, they've been extremely supportive of us during that period, so I have no doubts about the approach of the Westminster Government and their attitude towards us, and the same is true of the BBC. There is no BBC intervention in our work.

Dwi ddim yn awgrymu bod yna ymyrraeth gan y Llywodraeth—a dim hynny yw byrdwn fy nghwestiwn, fel mae’n digwydd—ond dŷn ni wedi gweld dirywiad yn y cynnwys Saesneg sy’n cael ei greu yng Nghymru ar gyfer Cymru—cynnwys Cymreig ar ITV ac ar y BBC. Dŷn ni wedi gweld dirywiad difrifol dros y blynyddoedd, a dwi’n amau ambell waith efallai dylem ni gael darlledwr dwyieithog sy’n creu cynnwys yn Saesneg ac yn y Gymraeg, ac yn gweithio fel rhan o deulu o ddarlledwyr.

I'm not suggesting that there is intervention in terms of the Government—that's not my question, as it happens—but we have seen a decline in the English content that's created in Wales for Wales—Welsh content on ITV and on the BBC. We have seen a terrible decline over the years, and I suspect perhaps that maybe we should have a bilingual broadcaster that creates content in both Welsh and English, and works as part of a family of broadcasters.

Wel, ŷn ni’n sicr yn rhan o’r teulu yna o ddarlledwyr gwasanaeth cyhoeddus. Yn fy marn i, mae’r model, a byddwn i’n dweud hyn—. Roeddwn i’n rhan o’r ymgyrch i sefydlu’r sianel—

Well, we are certainly part of that family of public service broadcasters. In my view, the current model, and I would say this, of course—. I was part of the campaign to establish the channel—

—yn y saithdegau diweddar. Dwi’n meddwl ei fod e’n hollbwysig bod yna ddarlledwr sydd yn darlledu yn benodol yn yr iaith Gymraeg ar gyfer pobl sydd yn siarad neu yn dymuno siarad neu yn dymuno dysgu Cymraeg, a fyddwn i fy hunan ddim am weld creu sefydliad gwahanol. Dwi’n credu bod y ddarpariaeth yn Saesneg yn rhywbeth sydd yn fater—. Dwi’n siŵr y byddwch chi’n clywed maes o law gan y BBC a gan ITV—mater iddyn nhw yw sut mae hynny’n digwydd.

—back in the 1970s. I think it's crucially important that there is a broadcaster that broadcasts specifically through the medium of Welsh for people who do speak or wish to speak or wish to learn Welsh, and I myself wouldn't want to see the creation of a different organisation. I think the English-medium provision is something—. That's an issue that you will hear about from both the BBC and ITV—it's an issue for them as to how that's delivered.

A hefyd, dwi’n meddwl yn y byd dŷn ni ynddo fe nawr gyda'r platfformau—mae’r cynnwys ar draws cymaint o blatfformau nawr, dyw un sianel ddim yn bodoli rhagor, oherwydd rŷn ni ar YouTube a phopeth arall—

And also, I think in the world that we're in now with these platforms—the content is across so many platforms, one channel doesn't exist any more, because we're on YouTube and everything else—

Dyna pam dwi’n gofyn y cwestiwn.

That's why I was asking the question.

Ac felly mae’n bwysig ein bod ni—. Dwi’n credu mai’r her i ni, fel darlledwr sydd â phwrpas hynod o glir i ddod â mwy o bobl at y Gymraeg a gwasanaethu’r Gymraeg, ydy ein bod ni’n mynd i’r llefydd lle mae’n pobl ifanc ni, achos dyw hanner y rheini ddim yn gwylio’r teledu o gwbl. So, dwi’n credu mai dyna’r her rŷn ni fod i ganolbwyntio arno fe nawr fel sianel, byddwn i’n dweud.

And so it's important that we—. I think the challenge for us, as a broadcaster that has a very clear purpose to bring more people to the Welsh language and to service Wales, is to go to the places where our young people are, because half of them don't watch television at all. I think that's the challenge for us, and one that we should be focusing on as a channel, I would say.

Diolch. Mi wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Hefin David.

Thank you. We'll move on to Hefin David.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. Sorry, technical issues here. Two seconds.

Y Bil cyfryngau: a yw’r Bil cyfryngau drafft yn darparu ar gyfer yr holl newidiadau deddfwriaethol sydd eu hangen i weithredu argymhellion yr adolygiad annibynnol o S4C yn 2018?

The media Bill: does the draft media Bill provide for all of the legislative changes needed to implement the recommendations of the 2018 independent review into S4C?

'Ydy', dwi’n credu, yw’r ateb i hynny. Rŷn ni, yn amlwg, wedi bod yn cydweithredu â’r Adran dros Ddiwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon yn San Steffan ac wedi bod yn trafod y Mesur sydd yn dod gerbron ac os yw e'n cael ei basio yn ei ffurf bresennol, byddwn ni'n sicr yn hapus iawn. Mae e'n ffurfioli—. Fe wnes i gyfeirio at fy hunan ar y dechrau fel cadeirydd bwrdd unedol cysgodol S4C oherwydd dyna'r drefn ar hyn o bryd. Rŷn ni'n gweithredu un o argymhellion y diweddar Euryn Ogwen Williams, ond yn gwneud hynny gyda sêl bendith y Llywodraeth. Dyw e ddim wedi’i ffurfioli mewn deddfwriaeth, felly mae’r newidiadau hynny mewn llywodraethiant yn rhai a fydd yn cael eu ffurfioli. Yn fwy pwysig efallai, mae cylch gorchwyl S4C hefyd; rŷn ni eisoes yn gweithredu fel yna, ond eto, y ddeddfwriaeth honno fydd yn ffurfioli’r broses o ganiatáu inni fod yn dosbarthu ein cynnwys y tu allan i Gymru a bod hynny'n rhan o’r pwrpas yn hytrach na’r diffiniad mwy cyfyng sydd yn bodoli ar hyn o bryd.

Un o’r pethau pwysig eraill o ran Mesur y cyfryngau, ac eto fan hyn, mae’r adran a’r Llywodraeth yn San Steffan am y tro cyntaf yn cydnabod pwysigrwydd darlledu mewn ieithoedd heblaw Saesneg, a dyna’r tro cyntaf i hynny ddigwydd. Mae yna ddeddfwriaeth wedi bodoli ynglŷn ag S4C a’r Gymraeg ers 1980, ond dyma’r tro cyntaf inni gael ein gweld fel rhan o deulu ehangach, ac mae hynny’n sicr yn rhywbeth i’w groesawu.

A'r peth olaf ddywedwn i, a'r peth, i ryw raddau, fyddwn i'n dweud yw'r peth pwysicaf i ni fel sefydliad, yw mai Mesur y cyfryngau sydd yn sicrhau ein hamlygrwydd ni yng Nghymru ar ddyfeisiadau gwahanol. Fel rŷch chi'n gwybod, rŷn ni'n amlwg iawn ar deledu traddodiadol, ond yn llai amlwg o lawer ar fathau eraill o ddosbarthu. Rŷn ni'n awchu am gael yr amlygrwydd hwnnw yng Nghymru, a hefyd yr argaeledd ar draws gweddill y Deyrnas Unedig, ac mae hynny'n hollbwysig.

Un cwestiwn, dwi'n credu, fyddai gen i am y drefn yw y bydd e'n ofynnol inni negydu gyda gwneuthurwyr technoleg neu berchnogion llwyfannau pa fath o amlygrwydd y byddwn ni yn ei gael, ac wedyn os yw'r trafodaethau hynny’n methu â chyrraedd cytundeb rhwydd, bydd yn rhaid inni droi efallai at Ofcom am gyngor a chymorth yn hynny o beth. Ac efallai bod yna gwestiwn: a oes gan Ofcom bwerau digonol i orfodi rhyw lwyfan sydd yn dweud, 'Wel, does dim eisiau i ni 'bother-o' am S4C—dŷn nhw ddim yn ddigon pwysig'? Ydy Ofcom yn gallu ein cynorthwyo ni? Achos, mewn meysydd eraill, mae ganddyn nhw bwerau gorfodi sylweddol, a byddem ni'n mawr obeithio y byddai’r Mesur yma'n rhoi iddyn nhw'r pwerau i allu gorfodi pobl a oedd ddim am roi amlygrwydd priodol i S4C i wneud hynny, ond fe gawn ni weld wrth i’r Mesur fynd drwy’r Senedd. Ond fel y mae e, dwi'n credu gallwn ni fod yn hapus iawn fod y Mesur yn delifro'r hyn rŷn ni ei angen.

Y pryder mwyaf rŷn ni wedi’i gael dros y cyfnod diwethaf yw: a fydd y Bil yn cyrraedd y llyfr statud cyn unrhyw etholiad cyffredinol? Hynny yw, mae'n hwyr yn barod—byddai'n well pe bai hwn wedi cyrraedd y llyfr statud rai blynyddoedd yn ôl. Byddai unrhyw oedi pellach yn hynod niweidiol i ni fel sefydliad.

I think the answer to that is 'yes'. Clearly, we have been co-operating with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in Westminster and have been discussing the Bill that's to be brought forward and if it is passed in its current form, then we would certainly be very happy. It formalises—. I referred to myself at the outset as chair of the shadow unitary board of S4C because that is the regime at the moment. We are implementing one of the recommendations of the late Euryn Ogwen Williams, but doing so with the blessing of the Government. It's not formalised in legislation as of yet, so those changes in governance are ones that will be formalised. More importantly perhaps, there's also the remit of S4C; we're already operating in this way, but again, it's this legislation that will formalise the process of allowing us to distribute our content outwith Wales, and that that would be part of our remit, rather than the narrower definition that currently exists.

One of the other important things in terms of the media Bill, and again here, the department and the Government in Westminster for the first time recognise the importance of broadcasting in languages other than English, and that's the first time that that's happened. There's been legislation on S4C and the Welsh language since 1980, but this is the first time that we are seen as part of a broader family, and that is certainly something to be welcomed.

And the final thing I would say, and the most important thing I would say, to a certain extent, for us as an organisation, is that it's the media Bill that secures our prominence in Wales and on different devices. As you know, we're very prominent on traditional television, but less prominent on other platforms. We are eager to have that prominence in Wales and also the availability across the rest of the UK, and that is crucially important. 

One question I would have on the proposed system is that it would be a requirement for us to negotiate with the owners of platforms, or the makers of technology, in terms of our prominence on those platforms, and if those negotiations fail to reach agreement easily, then we would perhaps have to turn to Ofcom for advice and support in that regard. And perhaps there's a question as to whether Ofcom has adequate powers to require any platform that says, 'Well, we don't need to bother about S4C—they're not important enough.' Can Ofcom then assist us and support us? Because in other areas, they do have enforcement powers that are significant, and we would very much hope that this Bill would also provide them with the powers to require people who wouldn't want to give appropriate prominence to S4C to do that, but we will have to see as the Bill progresses through Parliament. But as things currently stand, I think we can be very content that the Bill does deliver what we need.

The greatest concern that we've had over recent times is whether the Bill will reach the statute book before any general election. That is, it's already late in the day—it would be better if this had reached the statute book some years ago. Any further delay would be very damaging for us as an organisation.

09:45

Mae’r darn ynglŷn â'n hamlygrwydd a'r availability sydd gennym ni ar draws y Deyrnas Unedig mor hanfodol nawr ac rŷn ni yn dechrau gweld gwahaniaeth mewn rhai—pobl fel Sky yn dechrau siarad â ni—ond mae yn hynod o bwysig ein bod ni'n gallu bod ar gael yn y byd dŷn ni'n mynd i mewn iddo fe sydd yn aml-blatfform. A dŷn ni, fel S4C, wrth inni drafod y Bil cyfryngau â DCMS, wedi bod yn gweld y real benefit inni o fod yn rhan o deulu y darlledwyr gwasanaeth cyhoeddus, achos rŷn ni wedi bod yn siarad â nhw—â'r BBC, ITV a Channel 4—so, mae hwnna wedi bod yn hynod o werthfawr i ni, achos rŷn ni'n eithaf bach yng nghanol y pethau mawr yma i gyd. So, mae'r Ddeddf yn hanfodol ac, fel mae Rhodri'n dweud, mae'n bwysig bod hwnna'n dod i mewn nawr cyn yr etholiad, os yn bosib, fel bod Clic wedyn yn gallu bod yn amlwg ar deledu clyfar yng nghartrefi pobl a'i bod hi'n hawdd iddyn nhw ein ffeindio ni. So, mae hwnna, i ni, o ran y gynulleidfa yn bwysig tu hwnt.

The section about our prominence and our availability across the UK is so essential now and we are starting to see a difference in some broadcasters—people like Sky are starting to talk to us—but it's extremely important that we can be available in the world that we're entering where there are so many platforms. And we've seen at S4C, as we have been discussing the media Bill with the DCMS, the real benefit to us of being part of the public service broadcaster family, because we've been talking with them—with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4—so, that has been extremely valuable for us, because we're quite small in the middle of all these big organisations. So, the Act is essential and, as Rhodri says, it's important that that comes in now before the election, if possible, so that Clic can be prominent on smart televisions in people's homes and that it's easy for them to find us. So, for us, in terms of audience, it's extremely important.

09:50

Diolch. A oes unrhyw newidiadau yr hoffech chi eu gweld i'r Bil?

Thank you. Are there any changes that you would like to see to the Bill?

I'r Bil fel mae e nawr, Hefin, sori, ie? Na, rydyn ni'n eithaf hapus gyda'r rhan fwyaf o bethau. Dwi'n credu, jest i fynd nôl at beth roedd Rhodri'n ei ddweud, dwi'n credu mai sut mae'n cael ei reoleiddio fydd y cwestiwn mawr nesaf. Ond, fel S4C, rŷn ni wedi bod mewn trafodaethau, gyda'r BBC ac ITV, gyda'r Llywodraeth a DCMS yn trafod y Bil, so rŷn ni'n hynod o hapus gyda fel mae pethau'n symud ar hyn o bryd.

To the Bill as it is now, Hefin, yes? No, we're quite content with the majority of things. Just to go back to what Rhodri was saying, I think the way that it's regulated will be the next big question. But, as S4C, we have been in discussions, with BBC and ITV, with the Government and DCMS discussing the Bill, so we're extremely happy with the way things are moving currently. 

Iawn. Hapus? Ocê, gwnawn ni symud at Tom Giffard.

Happy? Okay, we'll move to Tom Giffard.

Diolch yn fawr. Ar hyn o bryd mae S4C ymhell o gyflawni ei nod o wario’n gyfartal yng ngogledd, gorllewin a de Cymru, gyda'r rhan fwyaf yn dal yn cael ei wario yn y de. Sut a phryd y bydd S4C yn cyrraedd y targed hwn?

Thank you. S4C is currently a long way off achieving its aim of an even spend in north, south and west Wales, with the majority of spend in south Wales still. How and when will S4C meet this target?

Wel, mae'n rhywbeth rŷn ni'n gweithio arno fe bob dydd, ac mae hwn yn adlewyrchu—. Mae'n rhaid dweud, mae'r rhifau yn adlewyrchu lle mae pencadlys y 52 o gwmnïau cynhyrchu rŷn ni'n delio â nhw. Dyw e ddim yn adlewyrchu lle ŷn ni'n ffilmio. So, er enghraifft, rŷn ni yn Llanelwedd ac yn y gogledd. So, mae lle mae ein harian ni neu le mae'r economi yn cael budd o S4C ddim yn cael ei adlewyrchu yn y rhifau yma.

Mae'n rhaid i fi ddweud, wedi dweud hynny, rŷn ni yn gweithio'n galed yn y gorllewin, a hefyd mae gennym ni waith mawr i'w wneud yn y gogledd-ddwyrain. Rŷn ni'n gweithio ar hyn o bryd o gwmpas Wrecsam a Llangollen, ac rŷn ni'n trafod â chwmnïau ar hyn o bryd. 

Well, it's something that we're working on every day, and this reflects—. I must say that the numbers reflect where the headquarters are of the 52 production companies that we deal with. It does not reflect where we film. So, for example, we're in Llanelwedd and we're in north Wales. So, where our money is and where the economy benefits from S4C is not reflected in these figures. 

I must say, having said that, that we are working very hard in west Wales, and we also have great work to do in the north-east. And, at the moment, we're working around Wrexham and Llangollen, and we're discussing with companies at the moment.

Os yw'r sefydliadau, fel rŷch chi'n dweud, yr ecosystem, os ŷch chi'n moyn, yn y de, ydy hi'n bosib cyrraedd y target hwn?

If the organisations, as you say, if the ecosystem, if you like, is in south Wales, is it possible to reach that target?

Ein bod ni'n gyfartal ar draws—?

Of being equal right across—?

Wel, mae'n mynd i newid bob blwyddyn. Mae'n dibynnu ar le ŷn ni'n ffilmio dramâu. Rŷn ni wedi bod yn buddsoddi lan yn Aria, er enghraifft, so mae yna lot mwy o arian yn mynd lan i sir Fôn nawr nag oedd o'r blaen. So, rŷn ni yn edrych arno fe. Y darn dwi'n credu lle dydyn ni ddim yn symud yn ddigon cyflym arno fe yw'r gogledd-ddwyrain a sut rŷn ni'n adlewyrchu hynny. Rŷn ni mewn trafodaethau â Wrecsam, oherwydd maen nhw'n mynd i fod yn city of culture—maen nhw eisiau bod yn 2029—ac mae'n hanfodol, felly, fod S4C yn edrych ar hwnna hefyd. So, mae'r targedi yn mynd i symud bob blwyddyn, i fod yn deg, ond mae'n iawn i ddweud dŷn ni ddim yna fel dŷn ni'n moyn. Yn anffodus, mae lot ohonyn nhw yng Nghaerdydd, o ran eu pencadlysoedd nhw.

Well, it's going to change every year, depending where we're filming drama. We have been investing in Aria, for example, so there's a lot more money going to Anglesey currently than there was before. So, we are looking at it. Where we're not moving fast enough is in the north-east, I think, and how we reflect that. We are in discussions with Wrexham, because they're going to be a city of culture—they want to be in 2029—and it's essential, therefore, that S4C is looking at that as well. So, these targets are going to move every year, to be fair, but it's right to say that we're not quite there as we would want to be. Unfortunately, a number of them are in Cardiff in terms of their headquarters.

Ydy S4C yn symud yn y ffordd gywir gyda hwn? Dwi'n edrych ar y stats nawr a dwi'n gweld, yn 2021-22, fod 29 y cant o'r arian yn cael ei wario yn y gogledd, ond flwyddyn diwethaf, roedd e lawr i 26 y cant. Ydy hwnna'n mynd yn y ffordd gywir?

Is S4C moving in the right direction in this regard? I'm looking at the stats here, and I see that, in 2021-22, 29 per cent of funding was spent in north Wales, but last year it was down to 26 per cent. Is that moving in the right direction?

Wel, bydd hwnna'n newid flwyddyn nesaf eto achos rŷn ni newydd roi drama fawr yna ac mae Dal y Mellt yn ffilmio yna nawr, so bydd y rhifau'n newid trwy'r amser. So, mae'r canrannau yn mynd i fod yn wahanol. Dwi'n credu mai beth sy'n rhaid i ni ei wneud yn strategol yw ein bod ni'n cadw golwg a'n bod ni yn symud i lefydd fel y gogledd-ddwyrain a mwy i'r gorllewin. Dyna'r ddau beth dwi'n credu bod gwaith gennym ni i'w wneud arnyn nhw.

Well, that will change again next year because we've just put a drama there and Dal y Mellt is filming there now, so the figures will be changing all the time. So, the percentages are going to be different. I think that what we have to do strategically is to keep an eye on things and move to places such as the north-east and more to the west. Those are the two areas where I think that we need to do more work on.

I ba raddau mae'r ffigurau yna'n adlewyrchu cwmnïau cynhenid Cymreig a ddim cwmnïau, efallai, sydd yn agor swyddfa dros dro yng Nghymru er mwyn cael cytundeb?

To what extent do those figures reflect indigenous Welsh companies and not the companies that, perhaps, temporarily open an office in Wales to get contracts?

Dwi'n falch i ddweud bod ein cwmnïau ni i gyd yn gynhenid i Gymru. Dydyn ni ddim yn gwneud gwaith fel yr hyn gwnaethoch chi gyfeirio ato fe. Does dim cwmni—. Gwnaf i tsiecio ond dwi bron yn siŵr nad oes dim gyda ni sydd ddim yn gynhenid i Gymru. Rŷn ni'n ofalus iawn am hwnna.

I'm pleased to say that all our companies are indigenous to Wales. We don't do work such as that you referred to. There's no company—. I'll check, but I'm almost certain that we don't have any companies that aren't indigenous to Wales. We're very careful on that. 

Iawn. Ocê. Ac o ran comisiynu, hynny yw, mae'r pipeline ac mae angen penderfyniadau buan, onid oes e, er mwyn rhoi'r sicrwydd a'r dilyniant yna i gwmnïau yn y sector?

Right. Okay. And in terms of commissioning, there's the pipeline and early decisions need to be made, don't they, in order to provide assurances and continuity for companies in the sector?

I ba raddau ŷch chi'n llwyddo i wneud hynny, yn eich barn chi, ac i ba raddau, efallai, mae'r elfen o sicrwydd ariannol nawr am y cyfnod rhagweladwy, beth bynnag, yn caniatáu ichi gryfhau hynny?

So, to what extent do you succeed in doing that, in your view, and to what extent does the element of financial security, for the foreseeable future at least, allow you to do that?

Dwi'n falch iawn i ddweud bod gennym ni gyfarfod sector yr wythnos nesaf, ac rŷn ni wedi cynllunio, mwy neu lai, 2024-25 i gyd nawr. So, rŷn ni ar flaen y gad. Mae'r hinsawdd economaidd yn hynod o anodd, ac mae'n siŵr eich bod chi wedi gweld beth sydd wedi digwydd gyda Channel 4 a gwahanol ddarlledwyr, ond rŷn ni mewn lle—. Dwi'n falch i ddweud, roeddwn i'n cyflwyno i'r bwrdd ddydd Gwener ein strategaeth cynnwys ni am 2024-25, so byddwn ni'n rhoi sicrwydd i gwmnïau nawr, dros y tri, pedwar neu bum mis nesaf, yn symud ymlaen 18 mis, sydd yn flaengynllunio gwell na lle dŷn ni wedi bod o'r blaen.

I'm very pleased to say that we have a sector meeting next week, and we have planned all of 2024-25, more or less, so we're ahead there. The economic situation is very challenging at the moment, and I'm sure you'll have seen what has happened with Channel 4 and other broadcasters, but we are in a place—. I'm pleased to say that I was presenting to the board on Friday our content strategy for 2024-25, so we will be providing assurances to companies now, over the next three, four or five months, moving on 18 months, which is better forward planning than we've done before.

09:55

Dwi ddim yn ddigon cyfarwydd, a bod yn onest, â'r sector, ond dyw 18 mis ddim yn swnio fel lot i fi, ond efallai ei fod e i chi, ydy e?

I'm not sufficiently familiar with the sector, to be honest, but I would say that 18 months doesn't sound very long to me, but maybe it does to you, does it?

Mae e yn. Ond gyda pethau fel dramâu, rŷn ni mwy ymlaen. O ran ein llechen dramâu ni, fel maen nhw'n ei alw fe, rŷn ni nawr yn 2026-27, oherwydd mae'n rhaid inni gynllunio'r rheini ymlaen llaw. Mae'r rhai eraill ddim cweit mor—.

Yes, it does. But with things like drama, we are further ahead. For our drama slate, as we call it, we are now in 2026-27, because we have to plan those beforehand. Others aren't quite in that position—. 

Ond mae 18 mis lot yn well nag ŷn ni wedi bod.

But 18 months is much better than we have been.

Dŷch chi wedi cyfeirio'n barod at y panel arbenigol a'r awdurdod darlledu cysgodol. O ran yr adroddiad yna, ydych chi'n cytuno â'r dadansoddiad roedden nhw wedi'i wneud o'r cyfryngau yn gyffredinol yng Nghymru a'r casgliadau roedden nhw'n dod iddyn nhw?

You've already referred to the expert panel and the shadow broadcast authority. In terms of that report, do you agree with the analysis that they made of the media landscape more generally in Wales and the conclusions that they drew?

Wel, gaf i ddelio â'r disgrifiad o'r sefyllfa, i ddechrau? Mae hwnna, dwi'n credu, yn un cyfarwydd, a dwi ddim yn credu bod adroddiad y panel yn dweud dim byd dŷn ni heb ei glywed o'r blaen. Byddwn i'n cyfeirio at waith Ofcom yn y maes, sydd wedi bod yn tracio y sefyllfa ers rai blynyddoedd. Hefyd, roedd yna adroddiad gan y Sefydliad Materion Cymreig yn ddiweddar a oedd, os unrhyw beth, yn fwy manwl yn ei ddadansoddiad. Ac un peth, wrth gwrs: mae llawer o'r gwendidau pwysicaf yn y darlun yna o fyd y cyfryngau yng Nghymru yn perthyn i brint ac i sefydliadau sydd ddim yn dod o dan reolaeth unrhyw reoleiddiwr na llywodraeth, ac mae'n bwysig cofio hynny. Hynny yw, dyw'r dirywiad yn y defnydd o bapurau newydd a phrint ddim yn rhywbeth sydd o fewn gallu unrhyw sefydliad i'w newid. Y farchnad sydd yn penderfynu hynny, a dwi ddim yn siŵr a oes yna ddigon o sylweddoliad o hynny.

Eto, i fi, mae'r drafodaeth a gychwynnodd Ofcom gyda eu hastudiaeth nhw, 'Sgrîn Fach: Trafodaeth Fawr', rhoddodd fod i'r Mesur darlledu, dyna sydd yn mynd i'r afael â'r gwir heriau. O ran datrysiadau, dydw i ddim yn siŵr am rai o—. Wrth gwrs, rŷm ni'n greadur o statud. Hynny yw, beth bynnag mae cynrychiolwyr etholedig yn penderfynu, dyna fyddwn ni'n ei wneud, ac yn hynny o beth, nid ein lle ni yw dadlau o blaid y naill beth na'r llall. Wrth gwrs, oni bai bod gwleidyddion yn San Steffan yn newid eu barn, does yna ddim newidiadau. Ond un o'r cwestiynau yn fy meddwl i ynghylch argymhellion y panel yw eu bod nhw'n dweud y byddai sefydlu awdurdod darlledu a chyfathrebu cysgodol i Gymru, a dwi'n dyfynnu yn fan hyn, yn

'cryfhau rheoleiddio ac atebolrwydd ac yn dod â’r atebolrwydd hwnnw’n nes at adref.'

Mae'n rhaid i fi gyfaddef, dydw i ddim yn deall hynny o gwbl. Hynny yw, yn y lle cyntaf, fydd yna ddim newidiadau rheoleiddiol. Oni bai bod deddfwriaeth gynradd yn San Steffan yn newid, mi fydd y rheoleiddio i ni fel corff, i'r BBC, i ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, y darlledwyr gwasanaeth cyhoeddus i gyd, yn parhau yn San Steffan. Felly, fyddai creu awdurdod cysgodol, hyd yn oed awdurdod parhaol, ddim yn newid dim lle mae rheoleiddio yn y cwestiwn.

A'r ail agwedd ohono fe byddwn i am sylwi arno fe yw beth mae e'n dweud am atebolrwydd. Dwi ddim yn credu byddai creu panel, awdurdod, neu beth bynnag rŷch chi eisiau ei alw e, o bobl wedi eu hapwyntio gan Lywodraeth, yn ychwanegu dim at ein hatebolrwydd ni nac unrhyw un o'r darlledwyr gwasanaeth cyhoeddus eraill. Atebolrwydd, i fi, yw'r hyn rŷn ni'n ei wneud y foment hon. Mae atebolrwydd yn gorfod bod, yn fy marn i, i Aelodau etholedig. Rŷch chi yma fel Aelodau etholedig mewn sefyllfa i herio, i gwestiynu, ac i wneud hynny ar ran eich etholwyr. Dyna sut mae atebolrwydd yn digwydd. Dyw e ddim yn digwydd i gyrff sydd yn cael eu henwebu, a felly dwi ddim yn gwybod beth fydd tynged hwn yn y pen draw, a fydd yna newidiadau, ond dwi'n credu bod yna lawer iawn mwy o waith fyddai'n gorfod cael ei wneud i gael set o argymhellion oedd yn gwneud synnwyr. Hynny yw, cymerwn ni Channel 4, er enghraifft. Mae Channel 4, oherwydd rheoleiddio Ofcom, yn gorfod gwario canran o'u harian a lleoli canran o'u cynnwys nhw (1) y tu allan i Lundain, a (2) y tu allan i Loegr. Dyna sydd yn golygu bod hyn a hyn o gynnwys Channel 4 yn cael ei leoli yng Nghymru. Nawr, dyw Channel 4 ddim yn mynd i fod yn atebol i unrhyw un heblaw'r rheoleiddiwr yn y Deyrnas Unedig, boed e'n Ofcom neu yn gorff a fyddai'n cymryd lle Ofcom. Sut y gallai unrhyw gorff yng Nghymru orfodi darlledwr Teyrnas Unedig i leoli eu cynnwys nhw yng Nghymru? Dwi ddim yn deall. Dwi'n credu bod yna gagendor yn argymhellion y panel sydd ddim yn esbonio sut y byddai hwn yn digwydd.

Felly, tra ein bod ni yn y sefyllfa rŷn ni ar hyn o bryd, bydd y trefniadau presennol yn parhau. A jest i orffen ar y pwynt yna o atebolrwydd—hynny yw, dwi'n falch iawn ein bod ni yma heddiw, hyd yn oed pan fo cwestiynau anodd yn cael eu gofyn mewn pwyllgorau o'r math yma, boed nhw yn fan hyn neu yn San Steffan—ein dyletswydd ni yw dod, a dwi'n croesawu'r ffaith bod y pwyllgor yma, fel mae e wedi gwneud dros y blynyddoedd, yn cymryd diddordeb mawr yn y byd darlledu. A dwi'n hynod o falch i weld—. Dwi'n gwybod bod yr Arglwydd Grade a chyfeillion eraill o Ofcom yn dod ac yn ein dilyn ni y bore yma, ond roeddwn i'n falch iawn o weld bod y Gweinidog, John Whittingdale, wedi derbyn eich gwahoddiad chi i ddod, a'r darlledwyr i gyd. A dyna beth mae atebolrwydd yng Nghymru yn ei olygu i fi. Ac os, yn y dyfodol, bydd gan y Senedd ragor o Aelodau a ragor o adnoddau, fel bod hi'n bosibl gwneud hyd yn oed yn fwy o sgrwtineiddio, byddwn i'n sicr yn croesawu hynny. 

Well, may I deal with the description of the situation, to begin with? That, I think, is one that's familiar, and I don't think the panel's report says anything we haven't heard before. I would refer to Ofcom's work in this area, which has been tracking the situation for a number of years now. Also, there was a report by the Institute of Welsh Affairs recently that, if anything, was more detailed in its analysis. And one thing, of course: many of the most important weaknesses in that picture of the media in Wales relate to print and to organisations that don't come under the governance of any regulator or government, and it's important to remember that. That is, the decline in the use of print and newspapers isn't something that is within the ability of any organisation to change. The market decides that, and I'm not sure if there's enough of a realisation in terms of that issue.

Again, for me, the discussion that Ofcom began in terms of their study, 'Small Screen: Big Debate', which led to the media Bill, that is what addresses the real challenges. In terms of solutions, I'm not sure about—. Of course, we are a creature of statute. That is, whatever elected representatives decide, that's what we'll do, and in that sense it's not our place to argue for one thing or the other. Of course, unless politicians in Westminster change their view, there are no changes. So, one of the questions in my mind in terms of the recommendations of the panel is that they say that establishing a shadow broadcasting and communications authority for Wales, and I quote here,

'would strengthen regulation and accountability and bring that accountability closer to home.'

I have to admit that I don't understand that at all. That is, in the first place, there will be no regulatory changes. Unless primary legislation in Westminster changes, the regulation for us as a body, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, all the public service broadcasters, will continue in Westminster. So, creating a shadow authority, even a permanent authority, would not change anything in terms of regulation.

And the second aspect I would like to speak about is what it says about accountability. I don't think that creating a panel or an authority, or whatever you want to call it, of people appointed by Government would add anything to our accountability or that any of the other public service broadcasters. Accountability, for me, is what we're doing this current moment. Accountability has to be, in my view, to elected representatives. You're here as elected representatives in a position to challenge, to question, and to do so on behalf of your constituents. That is how accountability happens. It does not happen to organisations that are nominated, and so I don't know what the fate of this will be ultimately, whether there will be changes, but I think that there is much more work that would have to be undertaken to get a set of recommendations that would make sense. Let's take Channel 4, for example. Channel 4, because of Ofcom's regulation, has to spend a percentage of its money and locate a percentage of its content (1) outside London, and (2) outside England. That is why part of Channel 4's content is located in Wales. Now, Channel 4 isn't going to be accountable to anyone except the regulator in the UK, whether that be Ofcom or a body that would take Ofcom's place. How could any body in Wales force a UK broadcaster to locate their content in Wales? I don't understand. I think there is a gap there in the panel's recommendations that does not explain how this would happen. 

So, while we're in this situation that we are at the moment, the current arrangements will continue. And just to finish on that point of accountability—and I am very pleased that we are here today, even when difficult questions are asked in committees of this type, whether they're here or in Westminster—our duty is to attend, and I welcome the fact that this committee, as it has over the years, takes a great interest in the broadcasting world. And I'm very pleased to see—. I know Lord Grade and other colleagues from Ofcom are attending and following us this morning, but I was very pleased to see that John Whittingdale, the Minister, had accepted your invitation, and all the broadcasters as well. And that is what accountability in Wales means to me. If, in the future, the Senedd has more Members and more resources, so that it's possible to do even more scrutiny, I would certainly welcome that. 

10:00

Diolch, Rhodri. Alun, oeddech chi eisiau dod mewn ar hyn?

Thank you, Rhodri. Alun, did you want to come in at that point?

Ie, ateb diddorol iawn. Ac rydych chi fel unigolyn wedi bod yn hael gyda'ch amser, yn dod i fan hyn am flynyddoedd i ateb cwestiynau seneddol, a dwi'n credu ein bod ni'n gwerthfawrogi hynny. Ond mae'n rhaid inni gael strwythurau mewn lle sydd yn delio â sefyllfa ble fuasai rhywun ddim â'r ewyllys da dŷch chi wedi'i dangos pan oeddech chi gyda Ofcom; rwy'n eich cofio chi'n dod fan hyn ddigon o weithiau, a dŷch chi wastad wedi cynnig atebion llawn iawn i'n cwestiynau ni, a dŷn ni yn gwerthfawrogi hynny. Ond mae yna gydbwysedd, onid oes yna? Achos dwi'n cofio, pan oeddwn i'n gweithio i S4C, gwleidyddion yn dod at S4C yn dweud yr holl bethau roedden nhw eisiau eu gweld ar y sgrin—roedden nhw eisiau gweld hwn, hwn a hwn o stwff—ac roedden ni'n dweud, 'Reit, diolch, ond dim byd i'w wneud gyda chi, bois; ni sy'n penderfynu ar hyn.' Nawr, poacher turned gamekeeper, of course—[Chwerthin.]—a dwi'n derbyn hynny yn llawn. So, mae'n rhaid ichi ddiogelu eich hawl i ddarlledu heb ymyrraeth gan wleidyddion a'r Llywodraeth, ond hefyd mae'n rhaid inni sicrhau bod yna rywfaint o atebolrwydd, ac atebolrwydd agored, tryloyw, cyhoeddus. Ac roedd eich ateb wedi helpu yn fawr iawn, dwi'n meddwl; dwi'n cytuno â'ch dadansoddiad chi o'r adroddiad dŷn ni wedi bod yn ei drafod. 

Ond mae eich ateb chi hefyd yn awgrymu i mi fod yn rhaid inni gael rywfaint o strwythur fan hyn sy'n creu rywfaint o atebolrwydd yng Nghymru ar gyfer S4C, sydd ddim yn bodoli ar hyn o bryd. Felly, buasai'n well gen i rywfaint o atebolrwydd seneddol, yn lle i'r Llywodraeth. Fel Gweinidog, roeddwn i'n teimlo'n ansicr ac yn anghyfforddus iawn yn penodi aelodau i fwrdd y BBC, dwi'n meddwl oedd e, ac yn rhan o broses Ofcom; roeddwn i'n teimlo'n anghyfforddus gyda hynny, ac fe welais i ymyrryd gwleidyddol yn digwydd ar y pryd. A dwi ddim eisiau gweld ymyrryd gwleidyddol gan wleidyddion o ran penodiadau, a dwi ddim eisiau gweld ymyrryd o ran cynnwys. Ond dwi eisiau gweld atebolrwydd. So, ydych chi'n meddwl ei fod e'n bosibl i ffeindio rhyw fath o ffordd ble gallwn ni gynnal yr atebolrwydd ond heb gael gwleidyddion yn penderfynu ar beth yw cynnwys darlledwyr? Does dim un ohonom ni eisiau hynny.

It's a very interesting answer. And you as an individual have been very generous with your time, coming here over a period of years to answer our parliamentary questions, and I think we appreciate that. But we do need structures in place that deal with a situation where someone might not demonstrate the goodwill that you showed when you were with Ofcom; I remember you coming here representing Ofcom, and you've always given full answers, and we appreciate that. But there is a balance, isn't there? Because I remember, when I worked for S4C, politicians would come in and say all the things that they wanted to see on the screen, and we would say, 'Okay, thank you, but it's nothing to do with you, essentially; we decide.' Now, I'm a poacher turned gamekeeper, of course—[Laughter.]—and I fully accept that. But you have to safeguard your right to broadcast without intervention from Government and politicians, but also we do have to secure some element of accountability, and that accountability must be open, transparent and public. And your response was a great help, and I agree with your analysis of the report that we've been discussing. 

But your answer also suggests to me that we do need some structure here that creates some element of accountability in Wales for S4C, and that doesn't currently exist. So, I would prefer to see some parliamentary accountability, rather than accountability to Government. Because, as a Minister, I felt very uncomfortable in appointing members to the BBC board, and I was part of the Ofcom process too; I was uncomfortable with that, and I did see political intervention at that time. And I don't want to see those kinds of interventions from politicians in terms of appointments, and I don't want see influence on content either. But I do want to see accountability. So, do you think it's possible to find some mechanism where we can maintain that accountability without having politicians deciding what the content of broadcasters is? None of us wants to see that.

10:05

Wel, dwi'n gyfforddus o ran eich ymyrraeth olygyddol. Hynny yw, dyw e ddim yn digwydd ar lefel San Steffan; dyw e ddim yn digwydd ar lefel y Senedd fan hyn yng Nghaerdydd, felly does yna ddim problem fanna. Dwi'n credu wedyn fod yr atebolrwydd yn digwydd fan hyn, a mwy o hynny, cario ymlaen i wneud hynny, yw'r ffordd o ddelio â hwnna.

Pwnc mwy anodd, dwi'n credu, yw penodiadau. Nawr, ar un lefel, dwi yn sicr yn croesawu'r ffaith fod yna fewnbwn Cymreig i apwyntiadau i fwrdd unedol cysgodol S4C, fel i fwrdd y BBC a hefyd i Ofcom; mae'n bwysig bod yna lais Cymreig o gwmpas y ford. Nawr, does gen i ddim tystiolaeth lle mae Cymru yn y cwestiwn o ymyrraeth wleidyddol, ond, yn sicr, yr un drefn sydd yn bodoli yn San Steffan, lle, ar ddiwedd y dydd, Ysgrifennydd Gwladol DCMS sydd yn cadarnhau apwyntiadau. Hynny yw, mae yna banel, a, lle mae S4C yn y cwestiwn, byddem ni'n rhan o'r panel hwnnw, yn cyfweld â phobl ac yn eu dosbarthu nhw i ddau gategori: y categori sydd yn cwrdd â'r gofynion ac sydd yn apwyntiadwy, a'r rhai sydd yn is na'r trothwy a ddim yn apwyntiadwy. Mae'r rhestr o'r rhai apwyntiadwy yn mynd at yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol, ac mae'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol yn dewis unrhyw rai o'r rhai apwyntiadwy y mae hi neu fe am eu hapwyntio.

Does gen i ddim tystiolaeth o ymyrraeth wleidyddol ynddo fe, ond dwi'n credu, beth bynnag yw'r drefn, os taw Gweinidogion sydd yn penderfynu yn San Steffan, yna mae'n bwysig bod yna gynrychiolydd o Lywodraeth Cymru'n eistedd o gwmpas y ford. Hynny yw, dwi'n llawer iawn hapusach, yn edrych nôl—. Hynny yw, roedd apwyntiad aelod bwrdd dros Gymru i Ofcom yn rhywbeth a oedd yn digwydd wrth i fi adael y sefydliad. Dwi'n credu bod hwnna'n welliant ar y drefn fuodd yna, a byddwn i'n croesawu hynny. Ond oni bai fod yna dystiolaeth o ymyrraeth wleidyddol, dwi'n credu—

I'm comfortable in terms of editorial intervention. It doesn't happen at a Westminster level, and it doesn't happen at a parliamentary level here in Cardiff, so there's no problem in that regard. I think then the accountability happens here, and we need more of that, and we need to continue to do that; that's how we deal with that.

The more thorny issue, perhaps, is the issue of appointments. Now, on one level, I certainly welcome the fact that there is Welsh input on appointments to the shadow unitary board of S4C, as there is to the board of the BBC and Ofcom; it's important that there is a Welsh voice around the table when those decisions are made. Now, I have no evidence as far as Wales is concerned that there has been political interference, but certainly it's the same system that exists in Westminster, where, at the end of the day, it's the Secretary of State in DCMS that confirms appointments. Now, there is a panel in place, and, as far as S4C is concerned, we would be part of that panel, interviewing individuals and placing them in one of two categories: one which meets the needs and is appointable, and those who fall below the threshold and are not appointable. Now, the list of the appointable candidates is then provided to the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State selects any one of those appointable individuals as he or she sees fit.

Now, I have no evidence of political interference, but I think, whatever the system is, if Ministers in Westminster make the decision, then it is important that there is a representative of Welsh Government around the table. Now, I am far more comfortable, in looking back—. An appointment of a member of the board for Wales for Ofcom was something that happened as I was leaving the organisation. Now, I think that is an improvement on the system that was in place previously, and I would welcome that. But unless there is evidence of political interference—

Dwi ddim eisiau mynd lawr y llwybr ymyrraeth gormod; atebolrwydd, dwi'n credu, sy'n fwy pwysig, a sut dŷn ni'n sicrhau atebolrwydd seneddol, a ddim jest atebolrwydd i Lywodraeth ac atebolrwydd i San Steffan, achos mae yna sawl peth sy'n digwydd, yn arbennig gyda chynnwys, wrth gwrs, a sylw i Gymru, er enghraifft, ble mae angen rhywfaint o atebolrwydd i Gymru—dim cymaint gyda chi, achos sefydliad Cymreig ydych chi, ond, o ran y BBC, ITV ac Ofcom, efallai, mae'n fwy pwysig. Ond dwi ddim yn cytuno â datganoli darlledu fel y mae pethau; dwi ddim yn cytuno â datganoli S4C fel y mae pethau, felly mae'n rhaid inni ffeindio rhywfaint—. Dyw e ddim yn aml iawn dwi'n gofyn am y middle ground, ond mae'n rhaid bod yna ffordd i sicrhau mwy o atebolrwydd gan S4C yng Nghymru na sydd gyda ni ar hyn o bryd, ac, os oes gennych chi syniadau ar hynny, buaswn i'n gwerthfawrogi i chi ysgrifennu atom ni yn lle parhau â'r drafodaeth y bore yma, efallai. Diolch.

I don't want to go down the route of intervention too much; accountability is more important, and how do we ensure parliamentary accountability, and not just accountability to Government and accountability to Westminster, because there are a number of things happening, in particular in terms of content and the attention given to Wales, where there is a need for some accountability to Wales—not so much with you, because you're a Welsh organisation, but, in terms of the BBC, Ofcom and ITV, perhaps, it's more important. But I don't agree with the devolution of broadcasting as things are; I don't agree with devolving S4C as things are, so we have to find—. It's not very often that I ask for the middle ground, but there has to be a way of ensuring more accountability in terms of S4C in Wales than we have at the moment, and, if you have any ideas on that, I'd appreciate it if you wrote to us with regard to that. Thank you.

Iawn. Ocê. Fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Llyr Gruffydd.

Fine. Okay. We'll move on, therefore, to Llyr Gruffydd.

Diolch yn fawr, Gadeirydd. Dwi jest yn gweld bod wyth o'r rhaglenni gyda'r ffigurau gwylio mwyaf yn 2022-23 yn rhaglenni chwaraeon. Ydych chi'n orddibynnol ar chwaraeon ar y sianel?

Thank you, Chair. I see that eight of the programmes with the highest viewing figures in 2022-23 are sports broadcasts. Are you over-reliant on sports as a channel?

Mae'n bwysig tu hwnt i ni, oherwydd (1) mae'n rhan o ddiwylliant S4C. Mae'n ffigurau ni o ran rhaglenni chwaraeon o hyd yn y rhai uchaf—wedi bod ers blynyddoedd. Rŷn ni'n gweld bod pobl yn dod atom ni pan fo'n fyw, ac mae'r un peth gyda'r BBC, os ydych chi'n edrych ar eu rhaglenni nhw hefyd. Beth sy'n grêt i ni ydy ein bod ni'n gweld bod rhain yn adlewyrchu beth rŷn ni'n ei weld ar Barb. Ond beth dyw e ddim yn ei wneud yw adlewyrchu YouTube eto, achos mae yna gymaint o gyrhaeddiad gyda ni ar draws platfformau. Ond mae'n grêt bod rhywbeth fel Gogglebocs wedi mynd i mewn i'n 10 uchaf ni'n streit, so mae'n dangos ein bod ni yn gwneud mwy na jest chwaraeon. A'r un peth am yr Eisteddfod—hefyd yn y 15 uchaf gyda ni. Ac mae'n grêt i ddweud mai wythnos yr Eisteddfod ym Mhen Llŷn oedd yr wythnos uchaf o wylio mae S4C wedi'i chael ers 10 mlynedd. So, mae e'n dangos ein bod ni'n rhoi balans o adlewyrchu digwyddiadau byw, ac rŷn ni'n gwybod bod hwnna'n bwysig, os yw e'n chwaraeon neu'r Sioe neu'r Eisteddfod—rŷn ni'n gweld y rheini o hyd yn mynd lan fel rhai o'n ffigurau uchel ni.

Ond beth sy'n fwy pwysig i fi ynglŷn â chwaraeon ydy ei fod e'n dod â phobl newydd i'r sianel—pobl sydd yn ddi-Gymraeg neu sy'n dysgu ac yn troi atom ni. A does dim byd mwy pwysig na beth rydyn ni wedi'i weld gyda Chwpan Rygbi'r Byd. Rydyn ni wedi cael cymaint o'r gynulleidfa yn dod atom ni oherwydd eu bod nhw rili yn gwerthfawrogi bod ein darlledu ni yn Gymreig, ei bod hi'n gyffrous, ei bod hi'n ffres, ac yn troi atom ni yn erbyn ITV—nid fy mod i'n gystadleuol o gwbl, ond mae'n grêt i weld y gynulleidfa newydd yna yn dod atom ni.

It's extremely important for us, because it's part of S4C's culture. Our figures in terms of sports programmes are always amongst the highest, and have been for a number of years. We see that people come to us when it's live, and it's the same with the BBC, if you look at their programmes as well. What's great for us is that we see that these reflect what we're seeing on Barb. But what it doesn't do is reflect YouTube yet, because we have so much reach across the platforms. But it's great that something such as Gogglebocs has gone into our top 10 programmes, so it shows that we're doing more than just sport. And it's the same with the Eisteddfod—the Eisteddfod is in the top 15 programmes that we have. And it's great that the Eisteddfod week in the Llŷn peninsula got the highest weekly viewing figures for S4C in 10 years. So, it shows that we strike a balance in terms of reflecting live events, whether that's the Royal Welsh, the Eisteddfod or sport—we always see those going up as some of the highest figures that we have.

But what's most important for me in terms of sport is that it brings new people to the channel—people who are learning Welsh or don't speak Welsh and turn to us. Nothing's more important than what we've seen with the Rugby World Cup. We've seen audiences coming to us because they appreciate the fact that our broadcasting is Welsh in nature, it's exciting, it's fresh, and they turn to us rather than ITV—not that I'm competitive at all, but it's great to see this new audience coming to us.

10:10

Wel, gallaf uniaethu â'r dadansoddiad yna o ddarlledu cwpan y byd, achos, yn sicr, dwi o'r farn bod y darlledu sydd ar S4C wedi bod yn ardderchog, a dweud y gwir. Ond, hynny yw, y cwestiwn dwi'n trio ei ofyn yw, fan hyn: o ran cynaliadwyedd yn symud ymlaen, oes yna ormod o wyau mewn un fasged fan hyn, oherwydd mae yna sôn, er enghraifft, wedi bod efallai fydd cwpan y byd yn y dyfodol tu ôl i ryw paywall ac yn y blaen? Mi gollwyd gemau rhyngwladol yr hydref, ontefe, ac wedyn mae hwnna yn mynd i gael effaith, os ydych chi yn dibynnu cymaint ar chwaraeon ar gyfer eich allbwn.

Well, I can identify with that analysis of the world cup broadcasting, because, certainly, I'm of the view that the S4C broadcasting has been excellent. But the question I'm trying to ask here is: in terms of sustainability and moving forward, do we have too many eggs in one basket here, because there has been talk, for example, that future world cups will be behind some sort of paywall? We lost the autumn internationals, didn't we, so that's going to have an impact, if you are so reliant on sport.

Dwi'n credu ein bod ni yn—. Trideg y cant o'r gynulleidfa sy'n gwylio chwaraeon, so dyw e ddim yn fwyafrif o gwbl; mae jest, o'r rhaglenni unigol, rheini yw'r rhai uchaf. So, mae yna falans yn y ffordd rŷn ni'n edrych ar y rhifau. Dwi'n meddwl bod—. Yn debyg i beth rydyn ni'n ei wneud gyda'r Eisteddfod, mae'r ffaith ein bod ni'n adlewyrchu ac yn gartref i ddigwyddiadau byw yn hynod o bwysig, ac mae e'n hynod o bwysig o ran dod â phobl at sianeli, achos rŷn ni'n gwybod mai sut mae cadw sianel yn fyw ydy drwy wneud digwyddiadau byw. Mae'n rhywbeth nad yw Netflix yn ei wneud, felly mae hwnna'n rhywbeth rŷn ni'n gallu ei wneud, gwneud yn siŵr ein bod ni'n adlewyrchu beth sy'n digwydd yng Nghymru.

A dwi'n falch o ddweud—dydyn ni ddim wedi gwneud datganiad eto, ond cewch chi sgŵp heddiw—rŷn ni newydd gadarnhau ein bod ni'n mynd i wneud WXV, sef rygbi merched, y twrnamaint nesaf, so bydd hwnna, eto, yn rhad ac am ddim ar S4C. Ac i fi, mae beth rydyn ni wedi'i wneud gyda'r cwpan pêl-droed mor bwysig i gynulleidfa Cymru—eu bod nhw'n gallu gweld Cymru yn chwarae yn rhad ac am ddim, drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, i fi, yn rhan hanfodol o'n strategaeth ni, a byddwn ni'n dal i wneud e. So, dwi'n meddwl, ie, mae'n bwysig inni, ond hefyd fod yn rhaid inni wneud yn siŵr bod y balans gyda ni i bawb arall sydd ddim eisiau chwaraeon hefyd. Ac rŷn ni'n gwneud—. Os nad ydych chi'n moyn gwylio cwpan y byd, gallwch chi fynd am boxset Anfamol a'r ddrama ar Clic. So, rŷn ni o hyd yn trio paratoi a gwneud yn siŵr bod balans gyda ni.

I think that we—. Thirty per cent of the audience watches sport, so it's not the majority at all; it's just that those individual programmes have the highest viewing figures. So, there is a balance in the way that we look at the figures. I think—. Similar to what we do with the Eisteddfod, the fact that we reflect and are a home to live events is extremely important, and it's crucial in terms of bringing people to channels, because we know that's how a channel can remain live. It's something that Netflix isn't doing, so it's something that we can ensure, that we reflect what is happening in Wales.

And I'm pleased to say that—we haven't published a statement yet, but you'll have a scoop today—we've just confirmed that we're going to do WXV, which is women's rugby, the next tournament, so that again will be free on S4C. And to me, what we've done with the football is so important for the audiences in Wales—that they can see Wales playing for free, through the medium of Welsh, to me, is an essential part of our strategy, and we'll continue to do that. So, I think, yes, it's important to us, but we also have to have to make sure that we strike the right balance for those people who don't want to watch sport. And we do make—. if you don't want to watch the world cup, you could watch Anfamol as a boxset on Clic. So, we're always trying to prepare and ensure that we have a balance. 

Ie. A fyddwn i ddim eisiau—fel rhywun sydd yn well gyda fi pêl-droed na rygbi, a bod yn onest—fyddwn i ddim eisiau peidio â dweud bod gwasanaeth pêl-droed yn odidog, a bod yn onest, ac mae'r ffaith bod y cyfnod hir yna nawr o gael darlledu yn wasanaeth cyhoeddus go iawn, yntefe, ac yn wasanaeth mae eraill ddim yn gallu ei ddarparu ac S4C yn llwyddo.

Yes. I prefer football to rugby, to be honest, so I wouldn't want to not make the point that the football coverage is glorious, and the fact that we've had that long period of broadcasting is real public service broadcasting, and it's a service that others can't provide.

Ie. Mae'r Alban wedi bod yn siarad gyda ni ynglŷn â sut maen nhw'n gallu gwneud rhywbeth tebyg, so rŷn ni'n—. Ac mae'n rhaid inni ddiolch i Viaplay am adael inni wneud hynny a deall pa mor bwysig yw'r Gymraeg. Mae hwnna'n rhywbeth—mae'r ffaith eu bod nhw'n deall hynny ac wedi cadarnhau ein bod ni'n gallu'i wneud e ar y sianel yn bwysig tu hwnt, dwi'n credu.

Yes. Scotland have been talking to us about how they could do something similar. And we do have to thank Viaplay for allowing us to do that and understanding the importance of the Welsh language. The fact that they understand that and have confirmed that we can continue to do this on the channel is very important indeed.

So, beth am y rhestr o ddigwyddiadau neu ddigwyddiadau chwaraeon cyhoeddus sydd yn gorfod cael eu darlledu ar ddarlledwyr cyhoeddus? Mi fuodd yna awgrym, er enghraifft, rai blynyddoedd yn ôl—adolygiad oedd yn awgrymu efallai y dylai fod gemau pencampwriaeth y chwe gwlad Cymru yng Nghymru yn cael eu hychwanegu i'r rhestr yna, oherwydd pwysigrwydd cymharol rygbi, efallai, yn y cyd-destun Cymreig, yntefe. Oes gyda chi awydd i agor y drafodaeth yna ymhellach, neu ŷch chi'n meddwl efallai bod yna risg fod pethau'n dod oddi ar y rhestr hefyd?

What about the list of events or sports events that do have to be broadcast free to air? Now, there was a suggestion some years ago, for example—I think there was a review that suggested that perhaps six nations matches involving Wales in Wales should be added to that list, because of the comparative importance of rugby in the Welsh context. Do you want to open up that discussion further, or do you think that there's a risk that that things could be taken off the list too?

Wel, mae yna ddau beth yn digwydd. Mae Deddf y cyfryngau yn mynd i'n cydnabod ni fel PSB o ran y rhestr, so mae hwnna'n bositif tu hwnt. Mae'r rhestr lan i'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol. Ond beth sydd yn rhaid inni ei wneud yw gwneud yn siŵr ein bod ni'n adlewyrchu beth sydd ei angen yng Nghymru. So, byddwn ni'n negodi Tour de France pan fo Geraint Thomas ynddo fe. So, byddwn ni'n dewis beth sy'n bwysig i Gymru. Efallai ein bod ni ddim eisiau Wimbledon, ond, yn benant—. So, bydd y rhestr lan i'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol, ond i ni, ar hyn o bryd, mae'n bwysig ein bod ni'n adlewyrchu beth mae pobl Cymru ei eisiau.

There are two things that are happening. The media Bill is going to recognise us as a PSB in terms of the list, so that's very positive. The list is up to the Secretary of State. But what we have to do is to ensure that we reflect what is required in Wales. So, we will be negotiating the Tour de France, when Geraint Thomas is in it, for example. So, we will choose what's important to Wales. Perhaps we wouldn't want Wimbledon, but—. The list will be down to the Secretary of State, but, for us, currently, it's important that we reflect what the people of Wales want.

Diolch. Roeddech chi'n dweud, gyda Viaplay, ei bod hi'n beth da eu bod nhw'n deall pwysigrwydd y Gymraeg, ac, wrth gwrs, dwi'n cytuno â hynny. Ydych chi'n pryderu, gwaetha'r modd, ei fod e lan i siawns—fel y byddem ni'n dweud yn Saesneg—eu bod nhw wedi digwydd deall hynna, ei bod hi lawr i'r goodwill yna, ac, mewn rhyw gyfnod yn y dyfodol, os nad oedd y goodwill yna'n bodoli, byddai'r un sefyllfa—. Oes angen rhyw fath o gryfhad fel ei fod e'n rhywbeth fyddai ddim yn gallu cael ei golli yn y dyfodol?

Thank you. You said, with Viaplay, that it was a good thing that they understood the importance of the Welsh language, and, of course, I agree with that. Are you concerned that, unfortunately, it is a matter of chance—that they happen to have understood that, and that it was down that goodwill, and that, at some point in the future, if that goodwill didn't exist, then the same situation—. Do we need to strengthen that so it's something that couldn't be lost in future?

10:15

Ie, ond mae hwnna wedyn yn mynd mewn i fyd masnachol, ac arian, a hyn a'r llall. I fi, beth sy'n bwysig ydy ein bod ni—. A dyw e ddim yn siawns; efallai eu bod nhw wedi gweld sut mae—. Ac mae'n rhaid i S4C gymryd clod am Sgorio am flynyddoedd, a dangos sut maen nhw'n gallu adlewyrchu'r gêm. Mae'r FAW yn hanfodol hefyd yn ein helpu ni gyda'r trafodaethau gyda Viaplay, a hefyd UEFA. So, roedd yna bedwar ohonom ni'n gwneud yn siŵr, ac maen nhw'n deall mor bwysig ydy e yng Nghymru. Ac mae hynny lan i chi hefyd fel Llywodraeth, neu fel Aelodau Seneddol—rydych chi wedi bod yn lobïo. So, mae yna lot o bethau wedi dod i ni gael hwnna, ac mae hwnna wedi bod yn digwydd ers tipyn. So, dwi'n eithaf balch o'r ffordd rŷn ni'n dechrau symud hwnna ymlaen.

Yes, but that then goes into a commercial area, and money, and so forth. To me, what's important is that we—. And it's not chance; they may have seen how—. And S4C must be praised for Sgorio over the years, showing how they can reflect the game. The FAW is essential as well in helping us with the discussions with Viaplay, and also UEFA. So, there were four of us making sure of that, and they understand how important it is in Wales. And that is up to you as well as a Government, or as Members of the Senedd—you have been lobbying. So, many things have come together to ensure that we've had that, and that's been happening for a while. So, I'm very pleased with the way that we're starting to move that forward.

Diolch. Gyda'ch caniatâd chi, Cadeirydd, fe wnaf i'r cwestiynau hyn yn Saesneg, os yw hynny'n iawn.

Thank you. With your permission, Chair, I will ask these questions in English, if that's okay.

Can I ask when the review into bullying allegations at S4C will be complete?

Mae croeso i chi ofyn y cwestiwn. Fe wnaf i drio fy ngorau i ateb gymaint ag y gallaf i, ond gobeithio eich bod chi'n deall nad oes yna fawr ddim y gallaf i ei ddweud ar hyn o bryd. Fe dderbynion ni, fel aelodau anweithredol y bwrdd unedol cysgodol, lythyr gan BECTU ar y nos Iau olaf ym mis Ebrill. Fe wnaethon ni gyfarfod ar y dydd Gwener; roedd e'n ddydd Gwener cyn gŵyl y banc. Erbyn y dydd Mawrth ar ôl gŵyl y banc, roedd cynrychiolwyr o'r bwrdd wedi cwrdd â BECTU, ac, erbyn diwedd y dydd, wedi penodi cwmni Capital Law i ymgymryd ag ymchwiliad i'r cwynion a wnaed, a hynny mewn ffordd agored a thryloyw. Fe roddwyd cyfle i aelodau staff, cyn-aelodau staff, a chwmnïau o'r sector gynhyrchu annibynnol i fynd at Capital Law i fynegi eu barn nhw.

Nawr, dyna'r cyfan dwi'n ei wybod. Does yna ddim proses wedi bod o adrodd wrth iddyn nhw fynd ymlaen. Yn amlwg, fe gymerodd hi rai wythnosau i gytuno ar gylch gorchwyl a phenderfynu sut y byddai'r ymchwiliad yn mynd yn ei flaen. A'r awgrym rŷn ni wedi cael yw y bydd y gwaith yn cael ei gwblhau yn yr hydref—a thymor yr hydref yw hwnna, nid mis Hydref. Felly, rŷn ni yn yr hydref nawr, ond fydd yna ddim rhybudd ohono; pan fyddan nhw wedi gorffen y gwaith o ysgrifennu—. A rhag ofn bod unrhyw un yn meddwl, does yna ddim llusgo traed yn digwydd fan hyn; y rheswm pam mae e'n cymryd cymaint o amser, yn ôl Capital Law, yw bod yna gymaint o bobl wedi dod atyn nhw i siarad â nhw, ac mae'n nhw'n gorfod cymryd hynny i ystyriaeth.

Felly, rŷn ni'n aros. Dŷn ni ddim yn gwybod pryd fydd yr adroddiad yn cyrraedd, ond, yn amlwg, pan fydd e, bydd angen amser i ni ystyried ei gynnwys e, i ystyried hefyd y cyngor cyfreithiol y bydd S4C yn derbyn ynghylch beth ddylid gwneud amdano fe, os unrhyw beth. Ac wedyn, fe fyddwn ni wrth gwrs yn cyhoeddi ein canfyddiadau ac yn rhannu fersiwn o'r adroddiad a fydd yn diogelu preifatrwydd unrhyw un sydd wedi bod yn siarad â Capital Law. Felly, pan fyddwn ni yn y sefyllfa hynny, fe gewch chi, yn amlwg, fel pawb arall, wybod, ond, tan hynny, does dim mwy y gallaf i ddweud, rili.

You're welcome to ask the question. I'll do my best to answer it as well as I can, but I hope you will understand that there is very little I can say at the moment. We as non-executive members of the shadow unitary board received a letter from BECTU on the last Thursday in April. We met on the Friday; it was the Friday before the bank holiday. By the Tuesday, following the bank holiday, representatives of the board had met with BECTU, and, by the end of the day, had appointed Capital Law to undertake an investigation into complaints made, and that was done in an open and transparent manner. Staff members, former staff members, and companies from the independent production sector were given an opportunity to approach Capital Law to express their views.

Now, that's all I know. There has been no reporting process as they've conducted their work. Clearly, it took some weeks to agree on a remit and to decide how the investigation would proceed. And the suggestion that we've heard is that the work will be completed in the autumn—and that's the autumn term. So, we're in the autumn now, of course, but there will be no warning; when they have concluded the work of writing—. And in case anyone was wondering, there is no dragging of feet happening here; the reason why it's taking so long, according to Capital Law, is because so many people have approached them to speak to them, and they do have to take that into account.

So, we are waiting. We don't know when the report will arrive, but, clearly, when it does, we will need to take time to consider its content, and also to consider the legal advice that S4C will seek in terms of what should be done as a result of that work, if anything. And then, we will of course publish our findings and share a version of the report that will safeguard the confidentiality of anyone who has spoken to Capital Law. So, when we are in that position, you, of course, like everyone else, will be told, but, until that point, there's nothing more I can say, really.

And just for clarity, on the final point, that report will be published as fully as it possibly can be, with the caveat you add about protecting people who have come forward—is that a fair assessment?

Fine. And, finally, can I ask how often has S4C tried to prevent other broadcasters or news providers trying to run stories about S4C? In what circumstances would that happen? 

10:20

Dwi ddim yn ymwybodol bod S4C fel sefydliad erioed wedi ceisio rhwystro darlledwyr neu gyfryngau cyhoeddus eraill rhag cario stori. Yn amlwg, fel unrhyw gorff arall, dwi'n credu byddai adran y wasg yn delio gydag ymholiadau ac yn ceisio dylanwadu ar y math o coverage sydd yn mynd i ddeillio o hynny, ond, fel sefydliad, nid ein busnes ni yw ceisio dylanwadu ar yr hyn mae cyfryngau eraill yn ei gyhoeddi. Mae hwnna, wrth gwrs, yn cynnwys cyfryngau sydd yn darlledu ar ein gwasanaeth ni'n hunain. Hynny yw, mae'r gwasanaeth newyddion sydd yn cael ei ddarparu gan y BBC, yn ogystal â gwasanaeth newyddion Cymraeg S4C—rhywbeth rŷm ni wedi'i sefydlu yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf—yn endidau annibynnol, a does yna ddim ymyrraeth olygyddol gennym ni yn yr hyn maen nhw'n dewis ei ysgrifennu neu ei adrodd ar ffurf fideo. 

I am not aware that S4C as an organisation has ever attempted to prevent other broadcasters or other news providers from running stories. Clearly, like in any other body, I do think that the media department would deal with enquiries and seek to influence the kind of coverage that would emerge from that, but, as an organisation, it's not our business to try and influence what other media outlets publish. That, of course, includes media outlets that broadcast on our own service. That is, the news service provided by the BBC, as well as S4C's Welsh language news service—which is something that we've established over the past few years—are both independent entities, and there is no editorial intervention on our part in terms of what they choose to report in video or in writing. 

I droi i edrych ar yr hinsawdd cyfryngau ar hyn o bryd fel mae, i chi fel sefydliad, beth sydd yn cynnig y gobaith mwyaf? Beth sy'n gwneud i chi deimlo eich bod chi'n rili gyffrous am rywbeth, a hefyd beth ydych chi'n meddwl ydy'r her fwyaf ar eich cyfer chi fel sianel? 

Turning to look at the media climate at the moment, what for you as an organisation offers the greatest hope? What makes you feel that you're really excited about something, and what do you think is the greatest challenge for you as a channel? 

O ran beth sydd yn bositif i ni ar hyn o bryd fel sianel ydy gymaint rydym ni'n gweld pobl yn cael eu denu at yr iaith Gymraeg, ac mae hynny'n dod at S4C hefyd, ac rydym ni wedi sôn am chwaraeon. Rŷm ni'n falch iawn bod dysgwyr yn troi mwy a mwy atom ni. So, mae hwnna'n bositif ar hyn o bryd ac rŷm ni'n teimlo, fel tîm gweithredol, yn bositif oherwydd mae'r strategaeth yn dechrau gweithio. Mae pobl iau yn dod atom ni. Mae gyda ni lwyth o waith i fynd, wrth gwrs, ond mae rhai o'r pethau rŷm ni'n gwneud o ran platfformau—. Ac yn bositif iawn i fi mae'r Deddf cyfryngau, achos mae hwnna'n mynd i wneud gymaint o wahaniaeth i ni i wireddu'r strategaeth a gwneud S4C yn lot fwy relevant a mwy accessible o fewn yr hinsawdd economaidd.

Yr heriau ydy'r costau. Rŷm ni'n lwcus bod sefydlogrwydd gyda ni tan 2027-28, ond, ar y llaw arall, rŷm ni wedi bod yn fflat am ddwy flynedd. So, fel roedd Alun Davies yn dweud, mae e'n real i ni—rŷm ni wedi cael amser heriol iawn—ond rŷm ni wedi bod yn blaenoriaethu lle rŷm ni'n mynd ar hwnna. Mae'r hinsawdd ar hyn o bryd yn hynod o heriol, a hefyd, efallai, gwneud yn siŵr bod y sector â'r sgiliau sydd eu hangen arnom ni. Mae'n ffantastig i weld beth mae Cymru Greadigol wedi bod yn gwneud i gefnogi'r sector, ac mae'r sector yng Nghymru yn brysur iawn. Ond mae hynny'n golygu bod eisiau lot mwy o sgiliau arnom ni hefyd. So, byddwn i'n dweud bod y ddau beth yna—y chwyddiant a'r costau—gyda'r hinsawdd o ran y sector a'r sgiliau, yn heriol i ni ar hyn o bryd. 

In terms of what's positive for us currently as a channel is how much we see people being attracted to the Welsh language, and that comes through to S4C too, and we've mentioned sport. We're very pleased that Welsh learners are turning more and more to S4C. That's positive at the moment and we feel as an executive team quite positive because the strategy is starting to work. Younger people are coming to the channel. We've got a whole lot of work to do, of course, but some of the things we're doing in terms of platforms—. And what's positive for me is the media Bill. That's going to make such a difference for us to deliver the strategy and make S4C a lot more relevant and accessible in terms of the current economic climate. 

The challenges are the costs. We're fortunate that we have certainty until 2027-28, but, on the other hand, we have been flat for two years. So, as Alun Davies said, it is real for us—we've had a very challenging period—but we've been prioritising where we're going with that. The climate currently is extremely challenging, and perhaps also making sure that the sector has the skills that we require. It's fantastic to see what Creative Wales has been doing to support the sector, and the sector in Wales is very busy. But that means that we need many more skills as well. So, I would say that those two things—the inflation and costs—as well as the climate in terms of the sector and skills are challenging for us currently.

Efallai nad ŷm ni wedi gwyntyllu'n ddigonol y platfformau digidol. Ydw i'n iawn i ddweud bod ffigurau Clic yn mynd lawr ond iPlayer yn mynd lan? 

Perhaps we haven't adequately covered the digital platforms. Am I right in saying that Clic's figures are going down but iPlayer's figures are going up? 

Roedd ffigurau Clic y flwyddyn ddiwethaf wedi mynd lawr; maen nhw nawr yn cynyddu eleni. Rŷm ni wedi gwneud lot o waith ar Clic er mwyn gwella'r platfform a gwneud e'n lot mwy user friendly, fel bydden ni'n dweud. So, mae yna lot o waith, oherwydd y setliad gawsom ni—y £7.5 miliwn—wedi bod yn mynd mewn i Clic. Rŷm ni hefyd wedi bod yn hyrwyddo iPlayer gyda Clic yn wahanol dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, achos does dim ots gyda ni le mae pobl yn dod at y cynnwys—eu bod nhw'n defnyddio'n platfformau ni. Pan fydd y Ddeddf cyfryngau'n dod, bydd Clic lot yn fwy amlwg. Ar hyn o bryd, mae iPlayer yn lot fwy amlwg na Clic. So, mae yna ffactorau'n fanna. Ond mae pethau fel YouTube wedi dyblu gyda ni o ran oriau gwylio, so mae'n hynod o galonogol bod pobl yn dechrau dod atom ni ar y platfformau iawn. Mae gwaith gyda ni'n dal i'w wneud ar Clic, a bydd hwnna'n gwella. Rŷm ni nawr ar Freeview ac rŷm ni lot yn fwy amlwg nawr nag oeddem ni. So, mae yna waith gyda ni i'w wneud ar hwnna.   

The Clic figures for last year were going down; they're increasing this year. We've done a lot of work on Clic to improve the platform and make it a lot more user friendly. So, there is a lot of work, because of the settlement we received—the £7.5 million—that's gone into Clic. We've also been promoting iPlayer and Clic differently over the past year, because we don't mind where people come to the content—it's just that they use those platforms. When the media Act is put in place, Clic will be far more prominent. Currently, iPlayer is far more prominent than Clic. So, there are issues there. But things like YouTube have doubled in terms of viewing hours, so we're extremely encouraged that people are coming to us on those platforms. We still have work to do on Clic, and that will improve. We're now on Freeview and we're far more prominent now than we were. So, we have work to do there. 

Ia, achos dyna beth dwi'n dod ato fe, i bob pwrpas. Rŷch chi yn ymrwymedig i Clic ac rŷch chi yn teimlo bod angen Clic, er efallai fod y ffigurau yn mynd lan ar YouTube a'r ffigurau yn mynd lan ar iPlayer. Mae'n bwysig i chi bod gyda chi eich platfform eich hunan.

That's what I'm coming to, to all intents and purposes. You are committed to Clic and you do feel that you need Clic, even though the figures are going up on YouTube and the figures are going up on iPlayer. It's important to you that you have your own platform.

10:25

Ydy, ac mae ffigyrau Clic lan 8 y cant eleni yn erbyn y flwyddyn ddiwethaf. So, y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, yn yr adroddiad blynyddol, roedden nhw lawr, so maen nhw wedi codi. Ond mae'n rhaid i ni gael Clic achos hwnna—S4C ar Clic—fydd yn amlwg ar y teledu clyfar. Felly, mae'n bwysig ofnadwy bod Clic yn cario ymlaen, so rŷn ni'n dal i fuddsoddi yn hwnna. Rŷn ni'n nawr mewn trafodaethau gyda Freely, fel ein bod ni ar gael gyda phobl eraill. So, mae'r trafodaethau yna, a bod Clic yn amlwg, yn parhau.

Yes, and Clic figures are up 8 per cent on last year. The annual report showed that they had gone down last year, but they're increasing this year. But we do have to have Clic, because that will be prominent on smart tv. So, it's very important that Clic remains in place, and so we continue to invest in that. We're now in discussions with Freely so that we're available with others. Those discussions, including the prominence of Clic, are ongoing. 

Grêt. Dwi ddim yn gweld bod gan unrhyw Aelod gwestiwn arall. Oedd unrhyw beth arall roeddech chi'n gobeithio sôn amdano fe yn y sesiwn y bore yma sydd ddim wedi codi?

I don't see that Members have any more questions, so is there anything else that you had hoped to mention in this morning's session that hasn't arisen? 

Na, dwi ddim yn credu, dim ond i ddiolch i chi am ofyn i ni ddod yma. Gobeithio y ddaeth e drosodd fy mod i'n cymryd y broses o atebolrwydd cyhoeddus yn ddifrifol iawn, a dwi ddim yn credu bod modd gwneud gormod ohono fe. Hynny yw, dyma sut mae dal darlledwyr gwasanaeth cyhoeddus i gyfrif—ddim jest y darlledwyr, yn amlwg, ond y rheoleiddiwr a'r Llywodraeth yn San Steffan, hefyd. Diolch i chi am y cwestiynau, a hyd yn oed, fel dywedais i, pan fyddan nhw'n rhai anodd ac yn rhai heriol, mae hynny yn iawn. Eich gwaith chi yw eu gofyn nhw, a'n gwaith ni yw i geisio eu hateb nhw cystal ag y gallwn ni. Felly, diolch yn fawr i chi am y cyfle. Dwi'n edrych ymlaen at ddilyn eich trafodaethau gyda rhai o'r cyrff eraill yn ystod gweddill y dydd, ond hefyd yn ystod yr wythnosau sydd i ddod.

No, I don't think so, just to thank you for asking us to come here. Hopefully it came across that I take the process of public accountability very seriously, and I don't think you can make too much of it. This is how PSBs can be held to account—not just the broadcasters, clearly, but the regulator and the Government in Westminster as well. Thank you for your questions, and even, as I said, when they are difficult and challenging, that is right. It's your work to ask those questions, and our work is to try and answer them as best we can. So, thank you very much for the opportunity, and I look forward to following your discussions with some of the other organisations during the day, but also during the weeks to come. 

Byddwn i jest eisiau dweud diolch i Gymru Creadigol hefyd am eu gwaith nhw. Rŷn ni newydd lansio Sinema Cymru mewn partneriaeth gyda Llywodraeth Cymru ddoe. So, mae'r gwaith rŷn ni'n gwneud gyda chi'n grêt i gefnogi'r sector. Ac mae'n rhaid hefyd dweud diolch i'r sector yn gyffredinol a'r partneriaid am gefnogi S4C dros y ddwy flynedd ddiwethaf yma, mewn amser anodd ar ôl COVID. Ond rŷn ni'n dechrau gweld y strategaeth yn gweithio nawr, a'n bod ni'n dod â phobl ifanc atom ni. So, mae pethau fel Sinema Cymru, a gafodd ei lansio ddoe, yn hynod o bwysig, fel ein bod ni'n amlwg ar draws y byd, ac nid dim ond yng Nghymru. Diolch.

I would just want to say 'thank you' to Creative Wales as well for their work. We launched Sinema Cymru in partnership with the Welsh Government just yesterday. So, the work that we're doing with you is great as regards supporting the sector, and we must also thank the sector in general, and the partners, for supporting S4C over the last two years during a difficult time after COVID. But we are starting to see the strategy working now, and we are bringing young people in to us. So, things such as the initiative launched yesterday are extremely important so that we're prominent across the world, not just in Wales. Thank you.

Diolch am hynna. Roedd yna rai cwestiynau nad oeddem ni wedi cael cyfle i'w gofyn. Ydy e'n iawn os byddwn ni'n ysgrifennu atoch chi gyda'r cwestiynau ychwanegol hynny? A bydd transgript o'r hyn sydd wedi cael ei ddweud yn cael ei ddanfon atoch chi i chi wirio ei fod yn gofnod teg o beth sydd wedi cael ei ddweud. Oni bai bod unrhyw—. Na, dwi ddim yn gweld. Felly, fe wnawn ni ddod â'r sesiwn i ben. Diolch yn fawr iawn eto am eich tystiolaeth.

Aelodau, fe fyddwn ni'n cymryd egwyl fer tan 10:40. Diolch yn fawr. 

Thank you. There were some questions that we didn't reach. Is it okay if we write to you with those additional questions? And a transcript will be sent to you so that you can check it's an accurate reflection of what was said. I don't see that there are any further questions, so we'll draw the session to a close. Thank you very much for your evidence. 

Members, we'll take a short break until 10:40. Thank you.

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:27 a 10:43.

The meeting adjourned between 10:27 and 10:43.

10:40
3. Darlledu Gwasanaeth Cyhoeddus yng Nghymru: sesiwn dystiolaeth gydag Ofcom (2)
3. Public service broadcasting in Wales: evidence session with Ofcom (2)

Bore da. Croeso nôl. Dŷn ni'n symud ymlaen at eitem 3, sef ein sesiwn gydag Ofcom. Fe wnaf i ofyn i'n tystion gyflwyno'u hunain ar gyfer y record. Fe wnaf i fynd at yr Arglwydd Grade yn gyntaf, i gyflwyno'i hunan. 

Good morning. Welcome back. We move on to item 3, namely our session with Ofcom. I'll ask our witnesses to introduce themselves for the record. I'll go to Lord Grade first of all, to introduce himself. 

Good morning. Michael—[Inaudible.]

Okay. Could you please repeat that, Lord Grade? I think we lost you for a moment. 

[Inaudible.]—Grade, chairman of Ofcom. 

I'm Kate Biggs, I'm director of public policy at Ofcom. 

Eleanor Marks, cyfarwyddwr Ofcom yng Nghymru. 

Eleanor Marks, director of Ofcom in Wales. 

Grêt. Fe wnawn ni fynd yn syth at gwestiynau, os ydy hynna'n ocê. Fe wnawn ni fynd yn gyntaf at Alun Davies. 

Great. We'll move straight to questions, if that's okay. We'll go first of all to Alun Davies. 

It's good to see you all here this morning. I think, Mrs Marks, you were appointed in 2018. 

I seem to remember, at the time, you said how excited you were to be joining Ofcom, and that your priorities included

'boosting broadband speeds in rural Wales'

and

'enhancing Welsh representation in UK broadcasting'.

I was wondering how that had gone.

10:45

I was very excited. I still am excited to be in Ofcom. It's a great job. I think the representation question, which I'm sure Lord Grade and Kate will come in on as well, is going well, but could always go better. I'm convinced that the reforms that we have and are thinking about, which are underlined by 'Small Screen: Big Debate' and the media Bill, will make a difference, but representation and portrayal is a real priority for Ofcom, and, actually, we can always see more of it. 

So tell me where you think you've had your greatest achievements in terms of Welsh representation. 

I think the number of programmes that are being made in Wales are really successful. The number of programmes that are going to network—things like the S4C production Y Sŵn—has been brilliant. Dal y Mellt is another good example. 

Yes, but sorry, that's S4C. I find it difficult if Ofcom could claim credit for S4C producing Welsh language programmes in Wales. 

I take your point. I think Ofcom's job is to create the environment, working within the legislation that we have, to allow freedom for broadcasters to do their work, to do their job in producing—

Sure, but you are also a regulator. So, how has your regulation and your role as a regulator increased Welsh representation in UK broadcasting? You said it was a priority for you, so I'd like to know what you've been doing and what Ofcom have been doing to deliver on that ambition. 

I think what we've been doing is the research, and the work that we did into 'Small Screen: Big Debate' was part of that, looking across the whole of broadcasting and what is needed to take it forward and face its challenges in the future. Representation and portrayal is part of that. 

Ofcom is very good at writing reports. We're always reading reports from Ofcom. I'm interested in what you're doing as a consequence of that report and that information and that knowledge. What have you been doing? How have you intervened in the market to ensure that Wales, as a country in the UK, is fairly represented in the wider ecology of UK broadcasting? What have you done?

I think what we do is we do report an awful lot. We do the research, we do the context setting and that helps us then in looking at the regulation that we have. And I think we are seeing some of those changes coming through in what will be the media Bill that will help everybody in that space. We are not an operational organisation, we are a regulator—

I didn't suggest that you were, with due respect. What I said was you're a regulator, and that's different, because that means that you have tools where you can intervene in the market in order to ensure that there is fair representation. You've relied on writing reports so far to answer my questions. And I accept that, I've got no issue with that. But surely, the purpose of a report is to illuminate a context, a situation, and then, as a regulator, to take action, or to ask government to take action, if it requires a regulatory change or additional tools. 

Might I add a couple of comments to my colleague's remarks? I think we've done a few specific things. We have a role, as you say, in setting obligations on the public service broadcasters. So, we did do a significant review of the BBC's operating licence to ensure that it was still fit for purpose. We made a number of changes through that. We are in the process of renewing the licences for channel 3, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Again, their ability to meet the needs and interests of all audiences, including those audiences here in Wales, is important. We also made very clear recommendations to the Government about the need to reform the PSB regulatory system, because it was entirely based, really, on television broadcasting, traditional tv. And we see audiences' diets have become much more diverse, more and more reliant on online services, and that's particularly true in Wales, where Welsh audiences are watching more and more on-demand and streamed content. So, we want to reform the tools to make sure that we've got the right incentives and the right protections, not just on tv broadcasting but across online as well. And we've worked very closely with the UK Government on the draft Bill, which has obviously now gone through some pre-legislative scrutiny, and we're keen that that's introduced as soon as possible. 

I'm grateful to you for that. So, do you think that Wales is currently fairly and properly represented within that broadcast ecology, or do you think that there are improvements to be made, assuming that you've made recommendations for improvements? I assume that you understand there's some failure in the current provision. 

I think there's always more than can be done, quite frankly—

—but there are some constraints. It is a very competitive market. There are some constraints on both commercial and the public revenues, through the licence fee revenues and the nature of the advertising industry. A couple of things we highlighted in our last review of the BBC were around how well the BBC was serving the lower socioeconomic groups, some of the poorer families—and that includes those in Wales—and disabled audiences. And, so, that was an area of focus for us. We've also acknowledged the BBC's Across the UK plans and the hopes that that will deliver, both on and off screen—better strength and breadth in the production side, but also what audiences see on their screens over the coming years.

10:50

Okay. Can I turn to Lord Grade? I'm grateful, Lord Grade, for your time this morning. You were appointed in the spring of this year, I understand, and up until your appointment, you took the Conservative whip in the House of Lords. How can I trust you to ensure that the values of Wales are fairly represented in Ofcom?

[Inaudible.]—I'd be more than happy to see if we can get the diaries together.

I took the Conservative whip—[Inaudible.] I was appointed chair of the BBC by a Labour Government. You leave your politics at the door when you come into broadcasting. My whole career, pretty much, has been in broadcasting, and I've never allowed my politics—any politics—to interfere with policy making or my influence.

As far as ensuring the voice of Wales is heard in Ofcom, there are all kinds of Government structures that absolutely ensure that, as we create our policies on a nations and regions-wide basis, specific issues arising for Wales are well heard—[Inaudible.]—appointed by the Welsh Government. I was in Cardiff last week interviewing, helping the Welsh Government to select a candidate to join the board of Ofcom to represent Wales. There are advisory boards. We all make frequent trips to Cardiff to hear on the ground exactly what's going on.

If I could say, from the point of view of a long career in broadcasting, there's so much—[Inaudible.]—the sector is booming in a way that I've never seen before. Production investment is growing. There's very, very much to celebrate in Wales as a centre of excellence and there's a growing media-investment programme going on in Wales. So, I think there's much to celebrate. Yes, it's never perfect.

I'll just pick up on the last point. We don't intervene in markets unless there's—[Inaudible.]

Lord Grade, please forgive me interrupting you. I think there might be a bit of a delay and we're losing some of your sound. I'm not sure if anyone, while you're speaking, would be able to just work on maybe moving the microphone closer to you. Forgive me for interrupting you. Please carry on.

I think he was finishing the answer. 

Lord Grade, the reason I asked you the question is because I believe—. Can he hear me? He seems to have frozen.

The reason I asked you the question is because values are important. You told the House of Commons culture committee in the spring that you cheer when you hear Laurence Fox on Question Time, and you thought that Laurence Fox was, at last, I quote, 'a voice for us'. I think many of us would consider Laurence Fox not to be 'a voice for us'. Ofcom is currently investigating Laurence Fox. And I'm wondering what integrity and what belief can we have in Ofcom as a regulator when the chair of Ofcom cheers Laurence Fox and believes that he speaks for him. 

10:55

[Inaudible.]—record to start with. The comment that I made in this instance, and it was made in a podcast to some journalists in a general interview, which was quoted at the select committee, and I accept that—. What I was getting at in that original quote—. Again, I repeat, it was years before the current incident with Laurence Fox, who, incidentally, I have never met in my life. I was cheering for free speech and freedom of expression, and that's at the heart of what Ofcom does. It's at the heart of what we regulate, and I'm grateful if—[Inaudible.]

It's very difficult to conduct scrutiny like this. So, Ofcom and you believe that freedom of speech should enable somebody like Laurence Fox to abuse young female journalists. You think that that's a fair use of freedom of speech. This goes to the heart of our values as a country and society.

We seem to have lost the sound. Might I just say a couple—

Thank you. If I may say, that was a gross distortion of what we said and what we thought—

No, I was actually repeating what you just said in the last few minutes.

Right. Because we have lost the connection, it seems, to Lord Grade, I am just going to suspend the session temporarily while we try to fix this technological problem. So, we will go into private until this can be fixed. I will wait to hear that we are in private. 

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:57 a 11:02.

The meeting adjourned between 10:57 and 11:02.

11:00

Apologies to viewers for that short technical break. We go back to Alun Davies.

My question to Lord Grade was about him being a fan of Laurence Fox. He defended his position—Lord Grade, I'm paraphrasing you before the break, and correct me if I'm wrong, but what you said was that it was an important role of Ofcom to defend free speech. You're currently conducting reviews into GB News and into Laurence Fox's words on GB News the other week. My question to you is: does freedom of speech involve the freedom for people to grotesquely insult young female journalists?

I'm not going to comment on that particular case because it's part of an investigation. It'd be very wrong of me to make any comments prior to our due process being gone through. The way broadcasting regulation has evolved in this country is that the regulator only intervenes after transmission, and broadcasters have very clear statutory and regulatory requirements not to give offence, harm, et cetera, et cetera. And Ofcom will make its judgments after transmission. I don't think anybody in any of the UK nations or regions would want to have a powerful regulator like Ofcom intervening prior to transmission—that would be against everything that we believe in as a free democracy. That means that some people will get some things wrong some of the time, and we will correct them and they will learn from their mistakes, and we have powers so to do.

I wouldn't like you to get the impression, because of a remark I made some years ago about an episode of Question Time that included Laurence Fox, which I rather enjoyed as a piece of good television, or regard that, years before the recent incident, as in any way my approval of anything that's happened since.

11:05

I recognise that. I recognise that, although you didn't say that you enjoyed the programme. You said, 'At last a voice for us', which is slightly different. I think that's different to just enjoying a bit of television. The problem with having a long career, of course, Lord Grade, is that you've said quite a lot in it. Therefore, we have a view about values, and it's the values that I'm really interested in, because, as chair of an organisation, you have extraordinary influence within that organisation. I'm concerned, from a Welsh perspective, do the values of Ofcom reflect the values that we would want to see as a Welsh society. You described Ofcom, prior to joining Ofcom, of course, as, I think it was, the 'woke brigade', or was it a band of 'woke...apparatchiks' or some other description I think you used? Six months in, I presume that you've changed your mind.

Well, that particular quote was related to a complaint about a nostalgic digital terrestrial television channel that showed programmes from the 1960s and 1970s. Somebody had complained about one of the programmes, and I wanted to defend this mom-and-pop operation that operated out of the front room and was providing a lot of good programming for people of a certain age, and I didn't want to see Ofcom come down on them wrongly. So, I pontificated from afar—

I accept that. I accept that, and you defended your position by explaining that you'd cancelled The Black and White Minstrel Show and a number of other things. I understand the context, but I'm trying to delve a little deeper, Lord Grade, and its values that I'm—. Because there are number of issues here where you see Laurence Fox as a voice for you, you don't like the 'woke brigade'—

No, one incident. One incident several years ago. 

Yes, but I'm saying there's the comment about the woke brigade and the Laurence Fox issue. It builds up a picture, and I want you to reassure me, I want you to reassure us in Wales, that we can rely on Ofcom, because, as you've said yourself, Ofcom is an extraordinarily powerful voice and part of our society. I want to believe in Ofcom, and I want to believe that you are standing up for the best interests of my constituents. I want you to convince me of that, because, at the moment, the evidence leaves me feeling quite concerned about the values now leading Ofcom.

First of all, let me say that I've dedicated pretty much my whole career to public service broadcasting. I've done two long stints at the BBC. I've been chief executive of Channel 4, where I was hugely supportive of S4C when I was chief executive for nine years.

I have been executive chairman of ITV. Public service broadcasting and the values of public service broadcasting, which means providing audiences with programmes that they value that are made for them, for the nations and for the regions—. I was hugely supportive, as chairman of the BBC, of the move of the BBC out of London, which I believed, as chairman, was the right thing for the BBC to do. My values are the same as yours, and our values in Ofcom are not informed by my opinions in any way shape or form. They are informed by research, audiences telling us what they like, what they don't like, by the cases that we have to look at. We are evidence led, we are research led. Opinions count for nothing at Ofcom.

I'm not sure I accept that final point, but, look, let me say this: you've appeared in front of a committee—

I'm sorry, may I ask you what's your evidence for not accepting that final point?

Everything we do in Ofcom is based on evidence, process, due process in looking at complaints, finding against licencees, finding for freedom of expression. I don't understand on what basis you can say there's any evidence that suggests that Ofcom is anything other than entirely fair and sticking to its parliamentary remit. I don't understand where the evidence for that—

Okay, Alun, very briefly, please, because we really do need to move on after.

Lord Grade gave evidence to a committee I chaired, I think it's over a decade ago now, when he was at the BBC. I thought the evidence was first class, and I very much enjoyed the session that we had. I read through it, actually, in preparing for this session, and I was very happy with your evidence at the time; I remain happy with it today. This isn't a personal issue. The reason I mention opinion is because the way in which we interpret evidence can be very different. The way I would interpret a report and evidence as a Welsh Labour Member would be very different to the way that Tom Giffard as a Welsh Conservative would interpret the same evidence, and that's perfectly fair and reasonable; it's not a criticism of Tom or necessarily a criticism of me, but we would look at things from different perspectives, which is why I think values are important.

But can I just move on a little bit? One of the concerns that I have is that the United Kingdom is far too London-centric and far too Westminster-centric in terms of its culture and in terms of its news agenda and the rest of it, and I'm just interested in Ofcom's point of view with this. You will remember, from your time in broadcasting, Tony King, I think it was, who wrote an excellent report some years ago about the nature of news broadcasting in the United Kingdom, and he made a number of different recommendations, some of which were taken forward in ways, and others weren't. And I'm interested in the approach that Ofcom takes to news, to reporting, to language, because when I listen to UK broadcasters, they talk about—let's talk about education as an easy example, because it's devolved everywhere in our kingdom—'the education Minister', 'the Government has taken this decision', and of course, it doesn't affect me, it doesn't affect my family, it doesn't affect my 13-year-old son. It affects people just down the road across the border in England, and I'm interested as to whether Ofcom takes a view on whether UK broadcasters are adequately representing a diversity of governance and experience of people in the United Kingdom, and whether you believe that Ofcom has a role to intervene—going back to Tony King's report—to ensure that, for example, the delivery of news programming in its widest sense accurately represents the structure of governance and the culture of governance across the whole of the United Kingdom.

11:10

I think there are still too many occasions when the devolved responsibilities of the devolved Parliaments are not accurately recorded or reflected in London news bulletins. I think that's true; I think the BBC recognises that, I think ITN recognises that, and I think Sky News recognises that. The case for an Ofcom intervention on those grounds has to be on the basis that we are required through the licence that—particularly the BBC—we cater for all audiences. And on the basis of complaints, on the basis of audience research, we would have no hesitation in intervening if there was a strong case to spend time and resources in calling for the journalists and the broadcasters to account on that basis. But I do agree with you that it's quite sloppy at times that the responsibilities of the devolved Parliaments are not accurately reflected in the news bulletins.

Okay, thank you for that. I'll just finish on this question; I know other people want to ask questions.

That case that you describe, Lord Grade, can be a single incident—as we discussed, Laurence Fox—or it can be a pattern of behaviour, of course, which extends over a period of time, none of which would involve—the single incidents—would involve an intervention. But, over time a pattern develops, and that would also, that pattern, would create the basis for an intervention. Can I ask you, Mrs Marks, to what extent have you, within Ofcom, looked at these matters about the reporting of Wales and the reporting of news in Wales, and to what extent have you spoken to your colleagues in Ofcom about issues where you believe there may be a pattern that doesn't reflect the governance structure of this country?

We've spoken to policy colleagues in Ofcom about this issue, and Ofcom commissioned a report into what the situation was like across the nations. It was published, an independent report, done by Professor Stephen Cushion in Cardiff University, who looked particularly during the COVID period at the reporting, and—

Forgive me; I think that Lord Grade might have been struggling to hear you. Thank you.

Sorry. Would you like me to start again?

11:15

Okay. That independent report showed that, over time, there had definitely been instances of when the devolved nations' news hadn't been reported accurately or when a reference to a particular subject didn't reference Wales in a particular point, but it did also show that, over time, that had improved. As part of taking the evidence, Professor Cushion talked to senior editors in newsrooms in this space and they were all aware of the need to do better in this area, and the fact that it was very important to develop their staff and their news to take proper account of devolution. It didn't just look at the period during COVID, but that was a particularly tricky period for this because there were times when people could go to the Lake District, but they couldn't travel into Wales, and that was an issue for the reporting. But over time, it has improved, but there's still room for improvement in that space. And I think part of the rationale for commissioning that report was the feedback that we gave through Ofcom Wales to Ofcom.

Well, I just wanted to talk about—. Alun, if you want to come back on that, then you'd best do it now, because—

Okay. Well, I just want to ask a few questions about Wales's place within Ofcom and Ofcom's capacity in Wales, because a freedom of information request back in April of this year outlined how many staff were employed in various offices that Ofcom have. Manchester was 74, Baldock 43, Warrington 65, at the time Edinburgh was 68—I understand it's now up to 80 in a new office that can accommodate 150—and in Wales we have 16. So, really, my question is: why is there such disparity?

Is that a question for me? Forgive me, I missed the opening.

It's for whoever wants to answer. Yes, let's start with you, then, Lord Grade.

Okay. Well, I don't think we measure influence by the number of employees. Ofcom used to be entirely in London, but, over recent years, the policy has been to spread the workforce throughout the nations and regions. The Welsh office is economic, it's effective. The key question is: is the Welsh voice being heard by the senior executives and by the board of Ofcom? And you can rest assured that the issues of concern and the issues that need addressing in Wales are well represented at the main board, where it counts. We don't measure influence by the number of employees.

So, are you suggesting that the other offices aren't economic and that, for some reason—

Forgive me for interrupting—I'm sorry. It's quite tricky with the—

The answer to that is that we have been expanding dramatically in order to cope with and meet the expectations of the Online Safety Bill and it so happens that that recruitment looked very promising in Scotland in that specific area, which is why Scotland has increased somewhat.

And might I just add to those comments in so much as the public policy teams in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are broadly the same size? In fact, the Welsh office is slightly bigger because of the Welsh language commitment. What you have is additional staff who work in different policy areas or delivery areas. We have spectrum engineers. Baldock is largely a spectrum engineer base, but they are based all around the country. So, that explains some of the differences and why there are not equal numbers in every part of the country. We have set ourselves quite a challenging target about growing our out-of-London base. So, we're aiming for—

Thirty per cent by 20—I'm going to have to double-check the date. We're currently, I think, at around the 23 per cent figure, so, we've still got some way to go. I think we're aiming for 2030, but I'll check with the committee on that. So, we could well see growth in Cardiff. I myself am London based, but because I live in Bristol, I spend quite a lot of time in the Cardiff office, so we also offer that flexibility with staff who can work from any of our offices, but, obviously, you need to have a base contractually.

So, is there any particular reason why Wales hasn't enjoyed the fruit of that expansion in terms of other responsibilities that are clearly reflected in figures elsewhere?

When I started five years ago, there were eight people based there. It's grown slowly. We took the extra space next to the office that we had, which was completed and fitted out the week we went into lockdown, which didn't help us in growing our space. There is more capacity to take more people in Wales and we are in discussion about doing that. As part of Ofcom's commitment to moving people out of London, we would expect to see the Wales office grow.

11:20

Thank you. For Lord Grade, you mentioned that Welsh audiences were represented at Ofcom despite the figures that Llyr read out. For our reassurance, what would you say are the biggest two or three issues facing Welsh audiences from an Ofcom perspective?

I think everybody, throughout the United Kingdom, would like to see more programmes about them and about their communities and about their regions. I think if you asked Welsh audiences if that's what they'd like, I'm sure they would say 'yes', and hopefully broadcasters and creative people who have to come up with the ideas and implement them will respond to that. I think the issues in Wales, which are slightly off territory for today, are more about coverage—mobile coverage, broadband, fibre and those issues. Broadly speaking, I think Welsh audiences enjoy the public service broadcasting that they get. Would they like more great programmes? Absolutely. But I don't see any evidence of any serious breakdown in contact between those who create the programmes and the audiences for whom they are designed.

[Inaudible.]—move to other areas. Alun, you wanted to come back in on something, or would you prefer to do that later?

You'll do that later. Okay. We're going back to Tom, actually, to talk about the channel 3 licence.

Thank you very much. On the channel 3 licence, the current holder—. Obviously, you've mentioned you're going through the process of renewing that channel 3—I think it was three, four and five that you mentioned, in Wales at the moment, but if we can stick with channel 3. Looking at the requirements of the current licence, it requires four hours of news and 90 minutes of non-news per week. How does that compare to other licences issued elsewhere in the UK? Is that about consistent? 

Perhaps I could ask Kate to answer that.

Now, can I speak confidently, because there are 15 licences overall, so I think I'd like to just double-check? I wouldn't want to misspeak around the quantity, unless you're aware—.

If there's anything where it would be better for you to write to us with that information, that would be absolutely fine. 

We can absolutely do that, because we did make an assessment around all of the current obligations and to what extent we think they may be sustainable over the next 10 years. So, we're very happy to provide the committee with that report and our view on that. 

It is worth noting that, obviously, the media Bill, which I mentioned earlier, would improve, I think, the licence in so much as extending obligations over the online services, with the exception of news. It would keep news as a broadcast-specific obligation.  

Okay. The reason I ask is because my understanding is that it is a consistent figure, relative to the rest of the UK, and I wonder, in your determination, whether you feel that there is a greater requirement for Wales as compared to some of the other licences elsewhere in the UK. We've already talked, from Alun's line of questioning, about perhaps the lack of coverage of devolved matters from the UK-wide broadcasters, and therefore it places a greater need, I guess, for Welsh-specific content to cover that off. There will be licences that you issue elsewhere that don't have devolved governments, devolved parliaments and so on, so do you not recognise that, perhaps, there is a greater need for a greater requirement in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland specifically?

I think that's a really important question, but I think the answer isn't just around the delivery of channel 3 and their news provision, it's about the plurality of news available to audiences in Wales, not just on tv, but also on their radio, in their press and online. And some of our work shows the growing importance of online news and what the role of intermediaries may be in ensuring that you're getting the right news for your area, whether that's locally or at a national level. So, the work we're doing on media plurality—. We have a duty to look at the media ownership rules every three years, but we, on our own initiative, have been doing an ongoing programme of work because we can see the importance of ensuring that all audiences across the UK continue to get a plurality of news. So, I think my answer is that it's not necessarily to increase channel 3's provision, which we think is broadly in the right place in terms of sustainability and delivering to those audiences that do choose to go to ITV Cymru as their first port of call, but also making sure that the wider market is delivering for all audiences, including those who maybe go online first before they go to tv. 

11:25

I take your point about media plurality and variety of providers, but, obviously, that wouldn't be covered within the channel 3 licence, obviously; the channel 3 licence would just cover that. So, I take it from your remarks so far we are unlikely to see an increase in that four hours of news and 90 minutes of non-news in the issuing of the next channel 3 licence?

I'd also suggest the quota is one regulatory tool we have, and they do go above and beyond that. So, the decision to extend Sharp End to a one-hour programme—that was done on ITV's initiative to better meet the need and demand that was there, and we're very supportive of them strengthening their current affairs offer in Wales. Quotas are a tool, and it's important for us to look across all the channels' delivery and answer slightly more nuanced questions about how they're delivering, rather than just a tick-box quota approach, because that doesn't necessarily get you the impact and the value that audiences deserve.

I appreciate that, and obviously you are issuing a licence to cover a long period of time. I think it's a decade, if I'm right in thinking.

The fact that a broadcaster themselves has identified, as you put it, a need or a demand for that content, rather than that being something that Ofcom has assessed as a need and a requirement, particularly in the context in Wales where, as I say, we have a devolved Government and Parliament that make decisions on people's lives—is that not a failure of Ofcom to recognise that need in the first place and legislate for that need?

I don't believe so, because—[Interruption.]

Just very quickly. The quota just sets the minimum we expect. We also want to give them the flexibility to respond to changing audience needs, which is what we've seen has been quite dramatic in the last few years. And actually, ITV have been quite front of foot, may I say, in experimenting with how they deliver news in ITVX, and the audiences are really enjoying short-form news stories relevant to their area online. Now, if we'd have set a much higher quota in the licence, would they have had the flexibility to try and experiment and deliver that on ITVX? That's a question for their chief exec and chair. But I think it's important that we set an absolute baseline that is the minimum we expect, but we do then challenge them to evolve and to meet changing audience need. Apology, Lord Grade—do you want to come in?

Not at all, thank you. I think it's important, as I'm sure the committee recognises, that the commercial free-to-air, advertiser-supported sector is facing considerable challenges in the marketplace from online advertising revenue moving online, and it's a very difficult and challenging market, and therefore it becomes more important today that where there is public intervention, which is essentially what a quota and a requirement is, that the public sector can deliver that—in other words, the BBC—and meets its obligations, because it doesn't have that need to compete for funding.

Can I just add a little to that? You're probably aware that, in Wales, the first port of call for most people for news is the BBC, and the second is ITV Cymru Wales. The third, interestingly, is Facebook. So, we are really well aware of the importance of news and that public service broadcasters need to provide that, a trusted news source, and that would be one of the things that we would think about in looking at the quotas for the review period.

Okay. In terms of quotas, just moving on slightly, I've got a quote from Phil Henfrey, who is head of ITV news in Wales. He said that that if people want more public service content,

'and I completely understand why people would want more—then how do you increase the value of that licence to whoever holds it?'

Ofcom looked at that in 2008 and 2009 and didn't find any answers. So, I wonder, in the context of that quote, what is the answer there? How do you increase that value? If it's not going to be done by quota, for the reasons that Lord Grade and others have made, in terms of the commercial consideration, if you like, how do you increase the value of that channel 3 licence?

I think one of the key things in that is the delivery of the media Bill and the new prominence duties, to make sure that ITVX, S4C Clic, are front and centre on smart tvs across the UK, that they're not having to be reliant on solely commercial deals without any regulatory support. I think that's absolutely essential, because the old benefits were spectrum and electronic programme guide prominence. They are of declining value as you move into an increasingly digital age.

Can I ask you, Lord Grade—? When I asked what you thought the biggest challenges facing audiences in Wales were, you mentioned about the importance of programming being commissioned and produced in Wales, for Welsh audiences. In 2022, ITV's UK network spend in Wales had plummeted to close to 0 per cent of their qualifying UK spend. Is that appropriate?

11:30

That would probably have been a function of COVID, I would have thought, and lockdown. I don't know for sure; I can check that and respond. But, I think, comparisons with the COVID lockdown years are very, very tricky indeed, and probably not relevant to the ongoing.

What is important is that one of the great success stories of the British isles—financial successes—over the last 10 years has been the growth of the creative industries, which, despite all the market turbulence, and so on, have continued to grow. And I'm thrilled to see that Wales is getting more than its fair share, and it's booming. I had dinner with—. One of the first things I did when I joined Ofcom was go to Cardiff, and I had dinner with a lot of the independent producers. I was staggered at how successful they are, and that's great. That's great for jobs. It's great for inward investment, and it's great for the soft power of Wales, if you like, that big film makers and big television series makers are now—Wales is right up there as a place to make great television.

Thank you for that. You mentioned, obviously, that Wales's voice was being represented at board level in Ofcom, despite the staffing figures we heard earlier from Llyr. I don't understand how that's compatible with your previous answer, where you said you weren't aware that one of the premier broadcasters in the United Kingdom was spending close to 0 per cent. I don't understand how both those statements can—

Forgive me, I don't think I said that. I don't think I responded. 

Well, you said you weren't aware that that would happen and you'd have to check. I'm just curious, in the context of your previous comments, where you said that Wales's voice was being represented, how you could not be aware of that. How can both those things be compatible?

We're not in the business of telling broadcast licensees where they have to make their programmes. What we want to ensure is that they're meeting broad audience expectations, and that they're meeting their out-of-London, out-of-the-M25 quotas. It's up to the broadcasters—

No, I said what Welsh audiences would obviously love—as all audiences would—would be to see more programmes about them, their communities, and where they live. That's quite a separate point. That's a creative point. What is important for Wales, it seems to me, is that they have a hugely successful and growing and thriving independent production sector, and, inevitably, out of that, the more it thrives, the more story tellers, producers, writers and directors will find stories that they want to tell that come from Wales. Obviously, Russell T. Davies is a wonderful example of a creative genius who believes in using his power to further the interests of Welsh production. That's great, and, following his example, people are coming into Wales to make programmes now; it's great.

First-run spending increased in 2022 by the PSBs, largely driven by the BBC, but it did include ITV. So, we would like to just write to you with those figures, because we just don't recognise that—

I think the spend was less, but I don't recognise the close to 0. It was less, and it was partly COVID—

It was taken from the 'Media Nations: Wales 2023' report, we believe. So, if you could write to us, that would be very useful.

Diolch. Thank you very much. I think that Alun and Hefin each have a question they'd like to ask on the channel 3 licence. So, I'll go to Alun first, and then to Hefin. Alun.