Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu - Y Bumed Senedd
Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee - Fifth Senedd20/11/2019
Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol
Committee Members in Attendance
|Bethan Sayed MS||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Carwyn Jones MS|
|David Melding MS|
|Delyth Jewell MS|
|John Griffiths MS|
|Mick Antoniw MS|
Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol
Others in Attendance
|Angharad Mair||Tinopolis Cymru|
|Caitriona Noonan||Prifysgol Caerdydd|
|Dr Ruth McElroy||Prifysgol De Cymru|
|University of South Wales|
|Gareth Williams||Rondo Media|
|Hywel William||Pwyllgor Cynghori Cymru, Ofcom|
|Advisory Committee for Wales, Ofcom|
|Llion Iwan||Cwmni Da|
|Martyn Ingram||Made in Wales|
|Made in Wales|
Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol
Senedd Officials in Attendance
|Angharad Roche||Dirprwy Glerc|
|Martha Da Gama Howells||Clerc|
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.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:34.
The meeting began at 09:34.
Grêt, a chroeso i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu heddiw, a hoffwn i ddweud cyn cychwyn diolch i David Melding, sydd wedi bod yn cadeirio pan nad ydw i wedi bod yma am y pythefnos diwethaf oherwydd salwch. Felly, diolch yn fawr iawn i David Melding am hynny.
Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau. Oes gan unrhyw Aelod rywbeth i'w ddatgan yma'r bore yma? Na. Hapus ac yn llawen, felly.
Welcome to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee meeting today, and before beginning, I'd like to thank David Melding, who has been chairing when I have not been present for the past fortnight due to illness. So, thank you very much, David Melding, for doing so.
So, we'll start with introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. Does any Member have a declaration of interest this morning? No, okay.
Symudwn ymlaen at eitem 2, sef ymchwiliad i ddyfodol darlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus, sgrîn fach: trafodaeth fawr. Mae gennym ni gyrff rheoleiddio yma heddiw: Kevin Bakhurst o Ofcom, cyfarwyddwr grŵp ar gyfer polisi cynnwys a chyfryngau, ac wedyn rydym ni'n croesawu Hywel Wiliam, sydd ar bwyllgor cynghori Cymru, Ofcom, ac hefyd yn croesawu Robert Andrews, sydd hefyd ar bwyllgor cynghori Cymru, Ofcom. Croeso i chi atom heddiw. Mae'n siŵr bod rhai ohonoch chi'n deall sut dŷn ni'n gweithredu; dŷn ni, fel arfer, yn cael cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol gan Aelodau Cynulliad gwahanol, ac felly fe fyddwn ni'n mynd mewn i gwestiynau yn syth, os yw hynny'n iawn gyda chi.
Wrth gwrs, dŷn ni, fel pwyllgor, yn cymryd rhan mewn rhywbeth mae Ofcom wedi'i ddechrau o ran ymwneud â'r sector, a deall beth yw pwysigrwydd yr hyn sydd yn digwydd ar hyn o bryd yn y sector. Felly, a fedrwch chi ddweud wrthym ni oes unrhyw beth wedi newid, neu ydy pethau'n wahanol yng Nghymru o gymharu â gweddill y Deyrnas Unedig? A yw'n rhywbeth sydd yn gyffredin ar draws y Deyrnas Unedig o ran sut mae PSBs yn ei wneud, neu a ydyn nhw yn symud tuag at ddigidol yn fwy fan hyn neu'n llai? Beth yw'r trend yma yng Nghymru?
We'll move on, therefore, to item 2, which is an inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting on the small screen: big debate. We do have the regulatory bodies here this morning: Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom group director for content and media policy, and we also welcome Hywel Wiliam, who is on Ofcom's advisory committee for Wales, and also welcome Robert Andrews, who is also a member of the Ofcom advisory body for Wales. Welcome here this morning. I'm sure that some of you will know how we operate; we normally have questions on the basis of various themes from Members, and therefore we will dive straight into questions, if that is acceptable to you.
Of course, as a committee, we are taking part in something that Ofcom has initiated in terms of engagement with the sector, and understanding the importance of what is currently happening in the sector. So, can you tell us has anything changed, or are things different in Wales compared with the rest of the UK? Is what is happening general and universal throughout the UK in terms of how public services broadcasters are doing, or is there a greater or lesser shift to digital here? What is the trend here in Wales?
Yn sicr, mae nifer o'r arwyddion o'r farchnad a'r ffordd mae darlledu yn cael ei darparu yn gyffredin i Gymru a gweddill y Deyrnas Unedig, ond mae yna rai amrywiaethau, wrth gwrs. Beth rŷm ni ar ei ôl e, mewn ffordd, yw'r cyfle i greu trafodaeth eithaf eang cyn ein bod ni'n dechrau ar y gwaith o adolygu darlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus, fel rŷm ni'n ei wneud bob pum mlynedd. Roeddem ni'n meddwl y tro hyn, i drio gwneud pethau bach yn wahanol, treial ysgogi rhyw fath o drafodaeth fwy eang er mwyn cymryd cam yn ôl, mewn ffordd, a meddwl am yr egwyddorion: beth rŷm ni ar ei ôl e o ran y ddarpariaeth? Beth yw'r pethau sy'n bwysig? Ac, yn hynny o beth, beth yw'r pethau sy'n bwysig i ni yng Nghymru o ran egwyddorion, o ran pa fath o gynnwys gwasanaeth cyhoeddus rŷm ni'n moyn gweld yn cael ei ddarparu yn y dyfodol?
Felly, roeddwn yn ei weld fel cyfle, mewn ffordd, gyda'r drafodaeth yma i gael rhywbeth bach yn fwy eang, i ddweud y gwir, i edrych ar draws pethau a gweld lle rŷm ni'n mynd a beth yw'r pethau rŷm ni'n meddwl sy'n werthfawr, a'r pethau sydd angen eu darparu yn y dyfodol.
Certainly, in terms of market indicators and the way that media is provided is common to Wales and the rest of the UK, but there are certain divergences, of course. What we're looking for is an opportunity to have a broad-ranging debate before we start the work of reviewing public service broadcasting, as we do every five years. We wanted to work slightly differently and to encourage a wider debate so that we could take a step back, in a way, and think about the basic principles: what are we looking for in terms of provision? What is important? And what is important for us here in Wales in terms of principles, in terms of the kind of public service content we want to see provided for the future?
So, we saw it, in a way, as an opportunity to have a more broad-ranging debate, to look across the piece and see where we're going, and look at the things that we believe are valuable and need to be provided for the future.
Oes unrhyw un arall—? Does dim rhaid i bawb ateb bob cwestiwn, ond a oes unrhyw un arall sydd eisiau gwneud sylw cychwynnol?
Does anyone else—? Not everyone has to answer each question, but does anyone else want to make a comment here at the beginning?
Liciwn i hefyd, efallai, wahaniaethu rhwng ein safbwynt ni fel pwyllgor ymgynghorol—wrth gwrs, rŷm ni'n bobl anweithredol, ac rŷm ni'n darparu cyngor ar gyfer Ofcom—ond rŷm ni, mewn ffordd, mewn perthynas hyd-braich ag Ofcom o safbwynt y cyngor rŷm ni'n ei roi, a dŷn ni ddim yn rhwymedig i orfod dilyn trywydd Ofcom, tra, wrth gwrs, mae Kevin yma heddiw fel rhan o'i waith fel swyddog gweithredol ar gyfer Ofcom. So, mae'n bwysig jest i wneud y pwynt: fydden ni ddim, efallai, fel arfer yn dod ar yr un llwyfan gyda'n gilydd, ond mae e'n bwysig i wneud y gwahaniaeth hynny. So, mae pethau fel pwyllgor y gallem ni'u dweud efallai fyddai fe ddim yn briodol o reidrwydd i swyddogion Ofcom i'w dweud yn yr un ffordd.
Well, perhaps I'd also like to differentiate between our view as an advisory committee—we are non-executive, of course, and provide advice for Ofcom—but, in a way, we have an arm's-length relationship with Ofcom in terms of the advice that we provide, and we don't have to follow Ofcom, but Kevin is here as part of his responsibilities as group director for Ofcom. So, it's important just to make the point: we wouldn't usually, perhaps, appear on the same stage, and it's important that we do differentiate. So, there are certain things that we could say as a committee that wouldn't necessarily be appropriate for Ofcom officials to say in the same way.
A dyna pam rydym ni'n cael chi'ch dau yma.
And that's why we have you both here.
Sydd yn werthfawr iawn, wrth gwrs.
Of course, that's very valuable.
Chair, thank you very much, and excuse me for speaking English, but—
We forgive you. [Laughter.]
Thank you very much for having us here, and thank you for your contribution and, hopefully, continued contribution to the discussion about the future of public service broadcasting. Just to pick up on the point that Hywel just made, we do have a statutory responsibility as Ofcom to look at the state of public service broadcasting every five years. I think, in the past, we've done a long piece of work; it's been a few volumes that has tended to measure how PSBs are doing and what the audiences think of public service broadcasting. It tends to be quite a few volumes that generally sit on shelves gathering a bit of dust.
What we felt was that the challenge to public service broadcasting has become so acute and public service broadcasting is so important to the UK and the nations of the UK that we wanted to take a different approach this time. So, we will discharge our statutory responsibilities about the state of public service broadcasting, what it's spending, what genres it's producing, what the audience thinks of it, but at the same time, we thought it would be a good idea to actually have a wider look at the future of PSBs in the UK: what really matters to audiences, which is our primary focus, and what they deliver to audiences, but also what they uniquely deliver to the UK and to the nations as society. So, this is really about trying to look as far ahead as we can as to what matters about PSBs and PSB-type content, and to have a really wide-ranging, quite bold review of it—to look at how PSBs can survive in what has become a much more complicated and competitive environment.
A jest o ran mynd nôl i'r digidol, ydy'r cwmnïau mawr ar-lein yn comisiynu yn ddigonol o Gymru? Dŷn ni wedi cael pobl i mewn yn yr wythnosau—wel, dim wythnosau, ond y misoedd diwethaf yn dweud, gyda'r chwaraewyr mawr fel Netflix ac Amazon ac yn y blaen, fod yna botensial yna, ond mae e'n fygythiad yn ogystal. Ydych chi'n dod i gasgliadau eto, neu ydych chi jest yn agor y drafodaeth ar hyn o bryd?
And just to return to digital, are these giant online companies commissioning sufficiently from Wales? We've had people coming in over the past few months who have told us, when you're talking about the big players, such as Netflix and Amazon and so forth, that there is a potential there, but it's also a threat. So, are you coming to conclusions yet, or are you just beginning the discussion at present?
Mae'r ddarpariaeth yn y farchnad yn amlwg yn ehangu. Mae yna lawer mwy o ddewis heddiw o ran cynnwys a, fel rŷch chi'n gweld, mae cwmnïau fel Netflix yn buddsoddi mewn cynnwys gwreiddiol o fewn y Deyrnas Unedig. Ac wrth gwrs, yn ddiweddar, mae cyfres fel The Crown, er enghraifft, yn mynd i Gaernarfon i sôn am yr arwisgo fanna, er enghraifft, fel un o'r penodau ar gyfer y gyfres hynny.
Ond, mae eisiau bod yn glir, rwy'n credu, yn aml iawn, mae cwmnïau fel y rhain, er eu bod nhw'n buddsoddi lot, maen nhw'n ystyried meysydd penodol, fel, er enghraifft, adloniant. Dwi ddim yn credu bod unrhyw sôn o gwbl gan Netflix y byddant yn darparu newyddion a materion cyfoes am Gymru. Dyw hwnna jest ddim yn mynd i ddigwydd. Mae'n amlwg mai dyna beth fyddai rôl y darlledwyr gwasanaeth cyhoeddus sydd gyda ni, i wneud hynny. Mae eisiau bod yn wrthrychol amboutu beth maen nhw'n gallu ei gyflawni, mewn gwirionedd, hynny yw, o ran eu darpariaeth nhw, ac felly i ba raddau maen nhw'n berthnasol, felly, i ddarlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus.
The market provision is clearly expanding. There is far more choice today in terms of content and you see companies such as Netflix investing in original content within the UK. Recently, there's a series such as The Crown, for example, looking at the investiture in Caernarfon, and that was one of the episodes in The Crown series.
But, we need to be clear that companies such as these, although they do invest a great deal, they do look at particular areas, such as entertainment. I don't think that Netflix have any intention of providing news and current affairs about Wales. That's simply not going to happen. That's the role of the public service broadcasters we have. So, I do think we need to be objective as to what they can deliver, if truth be told, in terms of their provision, and to what extent they are relevant to public service broadcasting.
Unrhyw un arall? Robert.
Anyone else? Robert.
I think, to some extent, the sheer budgetary power that the giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime have and the quality of the content that is being produced with these big platforms—many people say that we're now in a golden age of tv—whilst that can be seen as a threat, I think to some extent, it forces our core PSB broadcasters to also up their game. So, I think that's why we've seen the likes of BBC Wales, not just giving evidence to you, but increase its spend in certain core areas, and you can see the increase in quality of drama from some of our core PSBs as well.
Maybe to answer your first question about relative divergence in audience patterns across the UK, I think it's instructive to look at Ofcom's 'Media Nations 2019' report, which shows, for example, that broadcast viewing continues to be highest in the UK within Wales and Scotland equally. There was a 4.3 per cent decline in that last year, which was the smallest decline of the UK nations, relative to a 5.2 per cent decline overall. But the decline is stratified, if you like, so it's declining at different paces within different audience segments. Now, when you look at the 16 to 24s, within Wales, that has seen the largest decline within the last eight years—down 61 per cent since 2010 versus 49 per cent overall within the UK. That appears to be the most pronounced decline in broadcast viewership.
Okay, that's really interesting to hear that overview.
Ar y llaw arall, wrth gwrs, hefyd, mae'n werth ystyried bod nifer fawr o gartrefi yng Nghymru—bron i hanner y cartrefi yng Nghymru—â set deledu sy'n gallu cael rhyw fath o gynnwys ar-lein ar y set, felly, gwasanaethau ar-alw masnachol, a bod bron i 60 y cant o oedolion, 56 y cant o oedolion erbyn hyn, yn defnyddio gwasanaethau fel Netflix, Amazon ac yn y blaen, felly, gwasanaethau ar-alw masnachol. Felly, mae argaeledd pethau fel band eang cyflym iawn wedi gwneud hyn yn llawer rhwyddach. Felly, dyna’r elfen arall o ran cystadleuaeth o safbwynt y strwythur hefyd yn y farchnad.
On the other hand, of course, it's worth considering that a number of homes in Wales—almost half the homes in Wales—do have a television set that can access online content, so, those commercial on-demand services, and that almost 60 per cent of adults, 56 per cent of adults now, use services such as Netflix, Amazon and so on. So, these are commercial on-demand services. So, the availability of things such as superfast broadband have made this far easier for people. So, that's another element in terms of competition in terms of the structure of the market too.
Ocê, grêt, diolch. Symudwn ymlaen at gwestiynau gan Delyth Jewell.
Okay, thank you. We'll move on to questions from Delyth Jewell.
Diolch, Gadeirydd. Byddaf yn gofyn am y BBC yn benodol. Dŷch chi wedi sôn am hyn yn barod ychydig. Roedd Hywel wedi dweud bod y ddarpariaeth yn ehangu gyda phethau fel Netflix. Pa effaith dŷch chi'n meddwl y mae hynna'n ei gael ar y BBC yn benodol plis?
Thank you, Chair. I'll be asking questions about the BBC specifically. You have talked about this a little already. Hywel said that provision was broadening with Netflix and such things. What impact do you believe this has specifically on the BBC please?
Shall I answer that one? This is not just a question for Wales—this is a UK-wide question. I think there's a range of impacts that it has on the BBC. I think, to start with, it's really worth just getting some context on—. Netflix's spend is very focused, as Hywel said, on key genres, so, high-end drama. Clearly, they put a lot of money into that. Although they spend a huge amount on content, it's a very global spend still, and their spend in the UK is still much smaller than the PSBs combined. So, they are an important player here in some genres, but they're by no means a dominant player here in some genres.
The impacts on the BBC—so, in specific areas, undoubtedly there is less studio space available for things like drama across the UK and in Wales, because, not just Netflix, but other big American companies like working in the UK. They've driven up costs in some genres. There's a shortage, particularly of skilled producers and writers and so on, who are very much in demand. So, in a way, it's a golden age for parts of the production industry—they've got a bigger market.
On the other side of the equation, not just Netflix, but other big multinational companies like HBO—American-based companies—are very much open to and are in fact enthusiastic at the moment about doing co-productions. So, many of the high-end programmes that we might see on the BBC, like His Dark Materials, which has been an amazing success story for Cardiff and for Wales and for the UK, is obviously co-funded by HBO as well as by the BBC. It probably would be impossible to make something of such high cost unless there was that joint-funding model available.
So, I think it's a mixed picture for the BBC. There are some costs that are rising; there are some opportunities there for co-production. Some colleagues and I were in the States—we go once a year to talk to the tech companies and to the big studios and so on—and I think it's fair to say there is an incredible enthusiasm amongst some of the really big companies like HBO and Warner Bros in general, Netflix and Amazon to produce in the UK, and there are some centres of excellence, and actually, Wales is clearly a centre of excellence for drama and high-end drama. So, there are some great opportunities there. And in fact, their ambition to work in the UK is often only limited by the amount of studio space available and talent available. So, they're constantly looking around to see if there are other places to work in the UK. So, there is a positive. There's definitely an enthusiasm to work here and money coming into the creative industries.
To go back to your question on the BBC, I think it's a mixed picture. So, clearly, there's competition, and it is driving the BBC to look at new innovative ways of reaching audiences. So, if young audiences are now increasingly consuming on-demand content via subscription video on demand or other players, clearly that’s what has driven the BBC and ITV to look at BritBox, that's what's driven the BBC to invest in iPlayer and in BBC Sounds, because for any organisation to survive, it needs to be smart and follow how the audiences are listening to and watching content.
Sori, mae croeso ichi—
Sorry, you're welcome to—
Mae'r un peth, wrth gwrs, yn ystyriaeth ac yn berthnasol hefyd i S4C yn yr un ffordd, hynny yw gyda gwasanaethau fel Hansh, er enghraifft, ar YouTube, a ffyrdd newydd o gyrraedd cynulleidfaoedd mwy ifanc efallai fyddai ddim yn gwylio teledu traddodiadol. Ac mae'n dda gweld gwaith creadigol fel yma'n digwydd gyda darlledwr fel S4C.
The same is relevant to S4C, of course, with services such as Hansh on YouTube and new ways of reaching younger audiences who perhaps wouldn't watch traditional television. And it's good to see that creative work happening with a broadcaster such as S4C.
Diolch am hynny, a bydd un o'm cydweithwyr i'n dod nôl at S4C yn y man, ond diolch am hynna.
Dŷch chi wedi sôn yn barod hefyd am fel mae yna rai ffyrdd lle mae pethau fel Netflix yn annog y BBC i wneud pethau efallai fydden nhw ddim wedi'u gwneud o'r blaen. Ond hefyd, ar yr un pryd, mae yna rai pethau mae'r BBC yn eu gwneud y byddai Netflix byth yn gallu cystadlu gyda nhw arnyn nhw, a bydden nhw ddim eisiau. So, o edrych ar rôl y BBC, ydych chi'n gweld, gyda'r rôl arbennig sydd gan y BBC—ydych chi'n gweld hwnna yn wahanol yng Nghymru nag yw e dros Brydain i gyd mewn unrhyw ffordd?
Thank you for that, and one of my colleagues will return to S4C soon, but thank you very much for raising that point.
Now, you have already mentioned how there are some ways where Netflix and so on are encouraging the BBC to do things that they might not have done in the past. But also, simultaneously, there are some things that the BBC does that Netflix could never compete with them on, and would never attempt to. So, looking at the role of the BBC, do you see that the BBC, with its special role, differs in Wales from that of the rest of the UK in any way?
Wel, mae'n bwysig i ddechrau, rwy'n credu, i ystyried maint a chyrhaeddiad y BBC yng Nghymru. Mae'n chwarae rhan allweddol iawn o safbwynt gwylwyr a darpariaeth newyddion ar gyfer dinasyddion Cymru. Yn draddodiadol, mae ein gwasg ni wedi bod efallai'n wannach na rhannau eraill o'r Deyrnas Unedig, felly mae, yn draddodiadol, teledu a darlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus wedi bod yn llawer mwy pwysig yng Nghymru. Fel dwi'n dweud, rôl allweddol iawn, felly, o ran darparu newyddion—mae ganddi ei gwasanaethau ei hun—plus, wrth gwrs, mae newyddion ar gyfer S4C yn cael ei ddarparu gan y BBC. Ac mae'n fawr iawn fel corff o'i gymharu â'r cyrff eraill sy'n bodoli.
Wrth gwrs, o ran plwraliaeth, mae'n bwysig iawn fod ITV Cymru yn dal i gyfrannu eu gwasanaeth newyddion hefyd mewn cystadleuaeth—mae hwnna'n bwysig iawn. A hefyd, dwi'n credu, os oes yna gyfleoedd i weld gwasanaethau newydd yn datblygu—fe ddywedwn ni, er enghraifft, ar-lein—mae hynny'n bwysig iawn hefyd i gael mwy o ystod. Ond allwch chi ddim gwadu, fel corff ac o ran dylanwad, mae'r BBC yn eithaf mawr o gymharu â beth arall sydd ar gael yng Nghymru, ac felly'n bwysig iawn, iawn ac yn eithaf allweddol i'r ddarpariaeth mewn gwirionedd.
Well, it's important first of all to consider the scale and reach of the BBC in Wales. It plays a key role in terms of news provision for the citizens of Wales. Traditionally, our press has been weaker than other areas of the UK, so, traditionally, television and public service broadcasting is far more important in Wales. Therefore, there is a key role in news provision through its own services as well as the provision of news through S4C, which is provided by the BBC. And it is very large as an organisation compared to other bodies.
Of course, in terms of pluralism, it's very important that ITV Cymru Wales continues to provide its news service in competition—that's very important. And I do think, if there are opportunities to see new services develop—let's say online services—then that's also very important in order to have a broader range of output. But you can't deny that, as a body and in terms of influence, the BBC is great within Wales in terms of that influence, and is crucial to provision.
Diolch. Is there anything you'd like to add to that?
I'd just like to add that, clearly, the BBC has an important role also in supporting the Welsh language, which is one of its responsibilities. You asked specifically about Wales—a lot of the BBC's responsibilities and public purposes clearly read across the UK.
Yes, of course.
And as Hywel says, the rolling news is probably unique here because of the relative lack of plurality of the Welsh news market, and they have the language responsibilities, clearly, as well. One of the really important things where we've said the BBC needs to do better is about representing and portraying the peoples of the United Kingdom, and also to the rest of the United Kingdom and to themselves. We know, from our research about audiences in Wales, that that's one area in particular that the audience in Wales thinks the BBC needs to do a bit better on.
Yes, and that's actually something that—. Well, looking, then, at the BBC, do you think that the current model of regulation for it is doing its job in terms of ensuring that there is enough Welsh content available for Welsh audiences?
I think it is at the moment. It might be tested if the BBC asks for some changes to its operating licence, which we'll look at in due course, if they do ask for those changes. It seems to me that the provision of Welsh language content, in terms of the overall commitments of the BBC—the audiences seem to think it's at a reasonable level at the moment, in the context of the fact that you also have the provision to S4C and programming to S4C as well. I'm pleased to hear, both from the BBC and S4C, that the relationship is pretty good between the two of them, so that's a really important part of their Welsh language provision.
I think one thing that's worth saying about the BBC in Wales is, clearly, when we drew up the operating licence, we put some conditions on the BBC for its network programming in Wales, which was not just percentage of spend but also percentage of hours. I think the early signs are that that is helping to drive an increased range of genres of types of programmes in Wales, as well as continued investment in high-end production, like drama, as well. So, we do have some tools to make a difference, but we would tend not to try and get involved in regulation where we don't see a problem, because the BBC is fairly, I would say—although, I'm sure they would say—pretty heavily regulated anyway.
Thank you. And finally from me, just looking at the licence fee model, do you think that that at the moment is fit for purpose? Do you think it's going to continue to be fit for purpose with the various ways in which things are changing? And if it should change, how do you think it should change, please?
So, I have to speak within the confines of purdah, because of the Westminster election going on, and also in the confines of what Ofcom's remit is. In the end, the licence fee is a matter for UK Government at the moment. Clearly, we've said we think there could be pressures on the future licence fee, if young audiences continue to move away from the BBC. And that is an issue for the BBC to address in terms of trying to find new ways to attract young audiences, or better ways to attract young audiences, which I know they are working quite hard on across a range of areas.
The thing I say about the licence fee is there is a licence fee settlement until 2027. So, hopefully, the question is not that imminent. But it will be something—. I do think, when you are reviewing public service broadcasting across the BBC and commercial broadcasters, you cannot shy away from funding, because you can have all the good will in the world and all the great ideas in the world, but if you can't pay for it, there's not much point in having that. So, whilst we have a narrower remit on funding, I think it's definitely worth surfacing those questions about future funding.
Ocê. Oedd rhywbeth roeddech chi eisiau ei ddweud?
Okay. Was there something you wished to add?
Dim i'w ychwanegu ar hyn o bryd, fel rwy'n dweud, oherwydd y ffactor ynglŷn â'r etholiad cyffredinol, er enghraifft.
I've nothing to add to that at present, because, of course, of the fact of the general election purdah, for example.
Great. Thank you very much.
Symudwn ymlaen at gwestiynau am ITV. David Melding.
We'll now move on to questions on ITV from David Melding.
Diolch, Cadeirydd. Can I just look at ITV, then, which is, by a whole margin, the most vulnerable PSB, compared to the BBC and S4C, which have pretty entrenched mandates, it seems to me, and it's difficult to conceive of them not operating? But ITV now operates under a business model that was designed in the late 1950s and 1960s, and you have to be about my age—I'm in my late 50s—to remember the fierce competition for the licences that used to exist in that model, just because the advertising monopoly was so lucrative.
That was a very strong model, but that model just doesn't exist anymore. Of the 15 licences, I think 13 are with ITV—it's remarkable. Wales is the smallest licence, or one of them, and already we're obviously seeing their public broadcasting obligations being reduced, which is, obviously, a recognition of their weak business model at the moment. So, how viable is this type of approach in 2020, or as we approach 2020?
Wrth gwrs, mae'r gwasanaeth y mae ITV yng Nghymru yn ei ddarparu nawr—mae yna drwydded nawr ar gyfer Cymru yn benodol, tra, yn y gorffennol, wrth gwrs, roedd hi'n drwydded ar gyfer gorllewin Lloegr a Chymru, felly newidiwyd hynny. Ond o ran y ddarpariaeth, dyw hi ddim wedi newid, wir, oddi ar ein hail adolygiad ni o ddarlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus—hynny yw, o ran yr oriau maen nhw'n eu darparu o ran newyddion, materion cyfoes a rhaglenni eraill, felly—mae mwy neu lai'r un peth. I ryw raddau, mae'r ffaith ei fod e wedi para hyd yn hyn yn dangos yn amlwg fod y rheoleiddiwr wedi cael hwnna fwy neu lai yn iawn, o ran y sefyllfa economaidd a'r pwysau sydd ar ITV.
Fel roeddwn i'n ei ddweud, fel model, hefyd, maen nhw wedi esblygu rhywfaint, achos maen nhw, wrth gwrs, yn dibynnu ar incwm masnachol o hysbysebion ac o nawdd, ond hefyd, wrth gwrs, mae'r holl gwestiwn o sut mae ITV Studios yn gweithredu nawr fel corff i gynhyrchu mwy o raglenni, sy'n dod â lot o incwm i mewn i ITV. Er enghraifft, hyd yn oed rhaglen fel Bodyguard, a oedd yn llwyddiant mawr ar y BBC, ITV Studios wnaeth gynhyrchu hwnna, fel mae'n digwydd, ac mi oedd yn llwyddiant mawr iddyn nhw'n fasnachol.
Fel busnes, maen nhw wedi integreiddio'n fawr iawn. Fel roeddech chi'n ei ddweud, mae'r trwyddedau i gyd, fwy neu lai, nawr yn nwylo ITV plc. Mae hwnna'n rhoi cyfle iddyn nhw weithio fel busnes mwy unol, mewn ffordd, na jest trwyddedau ar wahân, so mae hwnna'n help hefyd. Ac fel dwi'n ei ddweud, mae'r gwasanaeth o safbwynt Cymru wedi aros ar yr un lefel ers y cyfnod yn 2006, felly. So, mae'r arwyddion o safbwynt hynny yn reit dda. Ac rwy'n credu, fel corff, maen nhw yn chwarae rôl bwysig iawn, fel dwi'n dweud, o ran plwraliaeth, o gymharu â'r BBC yng Nghymru. Mae'n bwysig iawn cael y lleisiau gwahanol hynny i roi mwy o ddewis i wylwyr ac i bobl sydd yn edrych ar gynnwys.
Of course, the service that ITV in Wales provides now—there is a specifically Welsh licence now, whilst in the past it was a licence for the west of England and Wales, so that has changed. But in terms of provision, it hasn't changed significantly since our second review of public service broadcasting, in terms of the hours they provide in news, current affairs and other programming, so it's virtually the same. So, to a certain extent, the fact that it has lasted this long demonstrates that the regulator has got that more or less right, in terms of the economic situation and the pressures on ITV.
As I say, as a model, they have evolved somewhat, because, of course, they do rely on commercial income from advertising, but then, of course, there is the whole question of how ITV Studios operates now in producing more programming that brings income into ITV. So, you have a series such as Bodyguard, which was a huge success on the BBC, but it was produced by ITV Studios, as it happens, and it was commercially very successful.
As a business, they have integrated a great deal. As you say, virtually all of the licences are in the hands of ITV plc, and it gives them an opportunity to work as a more integrated, uniform business, rather than having the separate licence holders, and that also helps. And as I say, the service in terms of Wales has remained at the same level since 2006, so the signs are quite positive in that regard. And I think, as an organisation, they do play a very important role, as I say, in terms of plurality, with the BBC in Wales. It's important to have those alternative voices in order to provide content users with that choice.
Thank you. Mr Bakhurst, do you think the model is still robust, even it's not as strong as perhaps it was previously?
Well, they're clearly under pressure in some areas, as you rightly allude to. The traditional small advertising market is changing rapidly. ITV are still a very profitable organisation at the moment and they're still producing amazing content. As Hywel says rightly, they're selling amazing content around the world through ITV Studios, so they have changed their business model.
I think they would be the first to say that, obviously, a huge percentage of advertising has moved online to Google, Facebook and so on. Combined with that and changing audience habits—recording programmes, spooling through ads and watching stuff on demand, which doesn't necessarily have ads always in it—undoubtedly, in the medium term, it's going to put pressure on their old model. But I think they have a really good leadership team—a very good chief executive, who's changing things quite rapidly. And BritBox is a good example of that. It's a challenging thing to get into, but they are trying out new technologies and new ways of catering to audiences.
But, at some point, don't they look—? Their business model operates pretty much like their digital competitors, so at that point why do they want to remain in the game of public service obligations? I suppose that's the nub of the question.
Mae hwnna'n bwynt teg. Hynny yw, pe baech chi'n edrych ar yr hyn, a beth maen nhw'n gorfod ei ddarparu o ran eu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus o gymharu â'u costau nhw, fel roeddech chi'n dweud, mae'r pwynt yn dod lle mae'r costau yna'n dechrau dod yn agos iawn at ei gilydd, felly.
Ond rwy'n credu hefyd, mae'n amlwg, fel corff, eu bod nhw'n dal i deimlo bod yna lot ganddyn nhw i'w ennill o fod yn ddarlledwr gwasanaeth cyhoeddus, jest o ran natur y cynnwys a natur y darlledwr, ac mae hwnna'n rhywbeth, rwy'n credu, sydd yn beth positif iawn.
That's a fair point. That is, if you were look at this, and at what they have to provide in terms of their public service versus their costs, as you say, a point will come when those costs—those two things—will come quite close together.
So, what's obvious is that, as a body, they still feel that there's a lot to be gained from being in the PSB game, because of the nature of the content and the nature of the broadcaster, and I think that's something that is very positive.
So, at the minute, there's no urgency to dramatically redesign the licences in this area, though you may think at some point, well, either continued adaptation or, at some point, even more drastic action may be required. But we're not there yet.
Well, I wouldn't describe it as a burning platform. I mean, I think we need to be—. Look, we need to be rapid as a regulator in responding to the really rapid changes in the market. We have constant conversations with ITV. You're quite right: the value of the PSB benefits they get in terms of spectrum or in terms of prominence on electronic programme guides is diminishing all the time as audiences change their habits, and we need—. When the licence does come up, of course we'll have to look at their licence obligations in the light of how valuable those PSB benefits are. And other things can happen. They're a commercial company. They may be attractive to other commercial companies at some stage. So, these are constantly things we need to consider and weigh up and I think this is going to be a part of our review of public service broadcasting, which is looking at—in the rapidly changing market with the competitive pressures, particularly on commercial PSBs; on Channel 4, as well, by the way—what is reasonable to expect them to do as part of that compact and what can they afford to do, and what makes it attractive for them still to be part of that system, if you like, or are there other ways of delivering that PSB content.
And, on the other ways, presumably the current model in terms of being an alternative, or even a competitor in terms of news to the BBC, is very important in terms of the balance and challenge we get in news and documentaries, which is obviously, inevitably, a controversial area, potentially, if it's done properly, that that—. If it's attached to a commercial model, the alternative of the American system of actually funding a specific public sector digital service runs a great risk in not being watched very much, presumably, whereas the current model, at least, is a wide-ranging offer, covering entertainment, sport and all sorts of things. So, that type of model continues to be really quite important, doesn't it, in terms of, in any development, seeing that taken away. And that public service element given to a much narrower commercial operation is going to have difficulties. Am I right?
Yes. I think that whilst it would be tempting—. This may end up answering that question, but whilst it would be tempting to look at trends like the boom in SVOD services—subscription video on demand—and imagining that that will be the predominant mode of consumption, for example, it's important to look at consequences like—. Advertisers look on that trend with some degree of alarm, because, as more people rush to pay for content, they see a landscape in which the opportunity to reach potential customers through premium destinations is actually drying up. Now, whilst many advertisers love embracing digital precision targeted advertising opportunities, they're also looking at a different part of the marketing funnel, which is mass reach, and there are few places that you can reach as many people as Coronation Street on a Wednesday night that would reach a mass in the UK. And I think that means ITV continues to provide significant value to advertisers.
I think, to come to your core point about the value of a popular alternative to the BBC, I think the UK market and the market in Wales is really well-served by having a really popular alternative to the BBC, and that's not just in news provision, it's in terms of other types of programme, whether it's soaps—which people still love, as alluded to—or whether it's Wales in the Rugby World Cup. To be able to bring these events to a big audience free at the point of viewing on air is a really important part of the PSB ecology. So, that's one thing, clearly—. We are—. As I said earlier on, we are approaching our PSB review very much from the point of, 'What is really valuable to audiences?', and, 'What is really valuable to society?' So, those are some of the essential things that we'll be looking at. And I think ITV—last night was quite a good example—does a great job of core PSB-type broadcasting. Whatever you may have thought of it, the prime ministerial debate—
We were watching the Wales game. Well, I was, anyway, sorry. [Laughter.]
Yes. You're not the first person to say that to me, funnily enough.
Can't speak for David.
Yes, but followed by I'm a Celebrity—. They are hitting young audiences with I'm a Celebrity and they're hitting big audiences, but they're doing important programming to a UK-wide audience.
I would endorse that. I think ITV produce excellent news and political coverage, which is really important for us and for our democratic culture and health. It really is something that, if we lost, we'd realise how big a hole it left.
Mae'n rhaid i ni symud ymlaen, sori. Dŷn ni'n rhedeg mas o amser, sori. Mae'n rhaid i ni symud ymlaen. Os oes rywbeth gyda chi i ychwanegu ar ITV, allwch chi ysgrifennu atom, os gwelwch yn dda? Symud ymlaen at S4C, a Carwyn Jones.
We do have to move on now, or we'll be running out of time. So, we have to move on, but, if you have something to add on ITV, perhaps you could write to us. So, we'll move on to S4C and Carwyn Jones.
Diolch, Cadeirydd. Mae S4C yn wahanol. Dyw ef ddim yn fodel masnachol, er bod yna hysbysebion, wrth gwrs, ar y sianel ei hunan, ac, wrth gwrs, does yna ddim cystadleuaeth gan S4C ynglŷn â siaradwyr Cymraeg, ond, wrth gwrs, mae S4C yn cystadlu yn erbyn sianeli sydd yn cynnig gwasanaeth yn Saesneg. Remit S4C ar y dechrau oedd sicrhau bod gwasanaethau ar gael oedd yn gallu cael eu derbyn yn gyfan gwbl gan neu gan ran fwyaf o'r cyhoedd yng Nghymru. Nawr, mae hwnna'n remit hen ffasiwn, mewn ffordd, onid yw ef, a remit daearyddol sydd ddim yna dim rhagor.
Felly, beth hoffwn i wybod yw—. Rwy'n deall bod yna remit newydd—wel, nid newydd, ond mae'r remit wedi ei foderneiddio'n ddiweddar rhwng S4C a DCMS. Ond oes yna rywbeth yn dal i fod yna sydd yn stopio S4C rhag gwneud mwy? Y rheswm rwy'n gofyn y cwestiwn hwnnw yw, yn ystod yr hen swydd oedd gyda fi fel Prif Weinidog, es i i lawer o wledydd ar draws y byd lle'r oedd pobl yn byw—roedd Tsiena'n un enghraifft—yn y gwledydd hynny oedd yn siarad Cymraeg ac yn gofyn a fyddai'n bosib iddyn nhw wylio S4C, a oedd yna blatfform yn cael ei ddatblygu er mwyn gwylio S4C. Mae yna farchnad, wrth gwrs, gyda siaradwyr Cymraeg ar draws y byd. Felly, oes yna rywbeth sydd yn stopio S4C rhag gwneud hynny ar hyn o bryd ynglŷn â'r remit sydd gyda nhw?
Thank you, Chair. S4C is different, isn't it? It's not a commercial model, although there are adverts on the channel, and, of course, it doesn't have any competition for Welsh speakers, but S4C does compete with channels that offer services through the medium of English. Now, S4C's remit at the beginning was to ensure that services were available that could be received or watched entirely or mostly by the public in Wales. Now, that is an old-fashioned remit, in a sense, isn't it? And it's a geographic remit that no longer exists.
Now, what I'd like to understand is—. I understand that the remit was modernised recently between S4C and the DCMS. But is there something that still remains or is still in existence that stops S4C from doing more? The reason I ask that question is that, in my previous job as First Minister, I visited many nations throughout the world where people lived—for example, China—in those nations who were Welsh speakers and would ask whether it was possible for them to receive S4C, and whether there was a platform being developed to watch S4C. So, there is a market for Welsh speakers globally. So, is there something that stops S4C from doing that currently in the remit?
Y prif beth, dwi'n credu, y prif rwystr, fyddai ystyriaethau hawliau a rhai ariannol, yn bennaf. Hynny yw, mae S4C yn gallu—. Mae S4C, er enghraifft, ar gael ar draws y Deyrnas Unedig, mae ar loeren a dŷch chi'n gallu ei dderbyn ef mewn rhannau helaeth o Ewrop, er enghraifft. Rwy'n cofio gwylio S4C ym Mhortiwgal, er enghraifft, ar fy ngwyliau unwaith. So, mae ar gael. Ond, yn aml iawn, y rhwystr fyddai hawliau. So, er enghraifft, gyda'r gemau chwaraeon mawr, mae'n bosib bod yr hawliau'n gyfyngedig ac efallai hefyd gyda chynyrchiadau drud iawn fel drama, er enghraifft, ble efallai byddai'r hawliau'n gyfyngedig i un diriogaeth yn arbennig. Ond, wrth gwrs, o ran y strategaeth fasnachol, mater i S4C fyddai hynny, wrth gwrs, a dyw e ddim yn rhywbeth byddai Ofcom yn ymwneud ag ef, felly.
Well, I think the main barrier would be considerations around rights and financial issues. S4C is, of course, available across the UK. It's available on satellite and you can receive it in large parts of Europe. I remember watching S4C in Portugal whilst on holiday. So, it is available. But very often the barrier would be on copyrights. The rights on sporting events may be restricted too, and also with very expensive productions such as drama, where the rights may be restricted to one territory alone. But, in terms of commercial strategy, that would be a matter for S4C and it's not something that Ofcom would be involved in.
Rwy'n deall hynny, a rwy'n deall jest taw rhywbeth i S4C yw hwnna, ond i gyd roeddwn i'n moyn gwybod oedd pa rwystradau sydd yna ar S4C ar hyn o bryd. Efallai nad oes yna ddim. Efallai taw cyllid yw'r broblem ac efallai hawliau, yn enwedig chwaraeon, wrth gwrs—gyda chwaraeon, weithiau, dŷch chi'n edrych ar raglenni tramor ar sianel o'r Deyrnas Unedig a dŷch chi'n gallu gweld popeth ond chwaraeon. Ond oes yna rywbeth tu fewn i'r remit ei hunan sy'n creu problem i S4C?
I understand that, and I understand that that's just something for S4C, but all I wanted to know was what barriers are in place for S4C at present. Now, there may be none. It may just be that the budget is the problem, and, of course, rights for sports and such like. With sports, sometimes, you look at programmes when outside the UK on a UK channel and you can see everything but sports. But is there something about the remit itself that creates a problem for S4C?
Wel, allaf i ddim siarad ar ran y darlledwr, ond dydw i ddim yn ymwybodol bod yna rwystrau, heblaw, rwy'n credu, pethau fel cyllid, arian, technoleg a hawliau—y fath yna o rwystrau, sydd yn arbennig iawn.
Well, I can't speak on behalf of the broadcaster, but I'm not aware that there are barriers, except for things such as funding, technology, rights and so forth—those kinds of barriers in particular.
Edrych am ateb ffeithiol ydw i, nid am farn.
I'm looking for a factual response, not an opinion.
Wrth gwrs, ie. Er enghraifft, hoffai S4C gallu darlledu ar ddiffiniad uchel ar Freeview, ond, yn anffodus, dyw'r arian ddim ganddyn nhw i wneud hwnna ar hyn o bryd, dwi ddim yn credu. Mae yna le lle bydden nhw'n moyn gwneud mwy, rwy'n credu, pe bydden nhw â'r arian i wneud hynny.
Of course, yes. For example, S4C would like to broadcast on high definition on Freeview, but, unfortunately, they don't have the funds to do that at the moment. So, I think they would want to do more if they had the funds to do so.
So, arian, felly, yw'r cwestiwn fanna. Ynglŷn â'r dyfodol i S4C, dŷn ni'n gwybod, wrth gwrs, fod y model o gyllido wedi newid dros y blynyddoedd, ac, wrth gwrs, mae'r rhan fwyaf o'r arian yna'n dod drwy'r drwydded. Pa fath o system fyddai'n gynaliadwy i S4C yn y pen draw? Nawr, dwi'n deall ein bod ni mewn purdah, ac efallai nad ydych chi'n moyn ateb y cwestiwn mewn ffordd, efallai, sydd yn gallu cael ei ddefnyddio fel barn wleidyddol, ond oes yna unrhyw enghraifft o sianel sydd yn darlledu i gynulleidfa eithaf bach sydd yn cael ei chyllido gan Lywodraeth ranbarthol neu Lywodraeth genedlaethol, allwn ni efallai ei ystyried ynglŷn â rhyw fodel i S4C yn y pen draw?
So, the question there is money. Now, in terms of the future for S4C, we know, of course, that the model of funding has changed over the past few years, and, of course, most of that money comes through the licence fee. So, what type of system do you think would be sustainable for S4C ultimately? Now, I understand that we're in purdah and you may not wish to answer the question in a way that could be used as a political tool or weapon, but is there some example of a channel that broadcasts to quite a small audience that is funded by a regional or national Government that we could perhaps consider as a model for S4C ultimately?
Wel, eto, mae hwn siŵr o fod tu allan i'n remit ni, ond, fel mae'n digwydd, mae yna waith diddorol wedi cael ei gynnal gan, er enghraifft, Prifysgol De Cymru, wnaeth project—
Well, again, this is perhaps outside of our remit, but, as it happens, there has been some interesting work done by the University of South Wales that undertook a project—
Maen nhw'n dod mewn ar ôl.
They're coming in later.
—ddwy flynedd yn ôl oedd yn edrych ar fodelau darlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus o amgylch y byd, yn enwedig o safbwynt ieithoedd lleiafrifol. A dwi'n gwybod bod Professor Ruth McElroy, er enghraifft, wedi gwneud eithaf lot o waith ar hyn ac wedi rhoi tystiolaeth i mewn i'r DCMS ar y pwynt yma. Felly, mae'n bosib bydd hwnna'n rhywbeth allwch chi ei ystyried. Ac mae'r dystiolaeth yna, wrth gwrs, ar gael yn gyhoeddus. Felly, bydd e'n ddigon rhwydd ichi weld hwnna.
—two years ago, looking at public service broadcast models across the world, particularly from the point of view of minority languages. And I do know that Ruth McElroy, for example, has done a great deal of work on this and has provided evidence to the DCMS on this point. So, that is something that you could perhaps consider. And that evidence is publicly available, so you could access it quite easily.
Okay. Thank you.
Iawn. Diolch yn fawr iawn am hynny. A symud ymlaen at amlygrwydd. Mick Antoniw.
Okay. Thank you very much for that. And we'll move on to prominence and Mick Antoniw.
You've touched slightly on the issue of prominence. Because of time, I'll try and incorporate into really just one question the areas I'm concerned with. The core importance of prominence, how—. If you could summarise what needs to be done in that area and how important it is, particularly with regard to internet access for public service broadcasters, but also, then, the specific aspect of prominence and its importance with regard to Welsh audiences—if you just put those together and just perhaps a summary around those.
Yes. So, obviously, this is something that Ofcom was asked recently to look at, and we published our report about prominence. So, just as a reminder, we looked at linear prominence on programme guides for linear channels, and that is an area where we already have a remit. So, if we come to take a decision, which we have taken, about that, which is that, in the Welsh context, S4C should remain on Channel 4 on electronic programme guides and that Channel 4 itself should be lifted up a bit on EPGs in Wales, we basically have reinforced the position of public service broadcasters on those linear programme guides.
I think possibly more complicated and as important to the public service broadcasters was looking at future prominence, which we were asked by the UK Government to look at and make recommendations. And we did make recommendations that there needs to be legislation to give Ofcom the powers to ensure that PSBs have appropriate prominence for on-demand services in particular. And, in conversations with any of the broadcasters, I think you'll find those two things are both important, but, in particular, future prominence is critically important to them, because, again, it comes back to the similar question about funding. If audiences can't find your content, there's no point making it. And, clearly, there are going to be huge commercial pressures on many user interfaces, or on many platforms, from big multinationals to buy prominent space, and it's really important for the future of public service broadcasters that they have the prominence they need to reach wider audiences. So, we've done that; we've made our recommendations. It's waiting now. We would need legislation to do it. We haven't done nothing since then; we've had many conversations with the manufacturers of smart tvs, with other platforms, with commercial broadcasters, and so on, about our prominence recommendations so that we are building on our technical knowledge of how to deliver that.
And we also say it needs to be futureproofed, because the number one step is about the on-demand players, but we're very well aware there are things like voice search, search engines and other areas of prominence, and it would be a fool who'd try and guess what the next one is. But all we know is technology's moving quickly, and, as a regulator, we would need to be able to also move quickly to ensure prominence of public service broadcasting, and that includes, obviously, S4C in Wales.
Do you see any specific differences in terms of the importance of that with regard to Welsh audiences, or is it exactly the same across the board?
It's not exactly the same, because we have S4C. You have S4C here, so it is different. We took that into account and we will take it into account looking at future prominence as well. I was talking to Owen last night, actually, from S4C. This is one of the issues. I think S4C were very happy with our recommendations about linear prominence. I think that's really important for them and certainly there are other people who wanted changes there, but we decided that wasn't the right thing to do.
So, the key issue going forward, really, is the legislative framework.
I think, for it to be an effective system, that's our recommendation. It needs to have legislative support. You're dealing with big international companies here, so, to force them to do it, and there's a lot of money at stake, so that's the tool you need.
The issue of securing PSB app placement within smart tv platforms will be a thorny one. As Kevin alluded to, it's going to require legislation, but it's also going to require the equipment manufacturers to comply with that. Securing placement for a PSB app on a home screen is one thing, but there's a regionality consideration thereafter. So, if iPlayer is secured on the front page of a Sony device, where is the Welsh content within that? Should that be surfaced on the tv device homepage? Should that be disregarded and should it be considered only within the iPlayer environment? So, regionality needs to be a consideration within this, because that would not be analogous to the old idea of a BBC One Wales electronic programme guide placement.
Do you have a view or recommendation on that?
We haven't worked through the detail of it yet, and I'm sure the advisory committee will have a view, or it does have a view. So, we have said, for example, if ITV Player is to get prominence under this new regime, there would be public service obligations alongside it. So, much as I love Love Island and I'm A Celebrity, it can't all be about that; it has to have public service content as well to earn its place. So, I daresay language services, S4C content and so on, on the BBC iPlayer, these will be part of the discussions. We haven't reached a view on it yet.
Mae’n werth hefyd jest ychwanegu’r pwynt wnaethoch chi amboutu llais. Y ffordd mae pobl yn ffeindio cynnwys, maen nhw’n moyn defnyddio’u llais nhw i wneud hynny. Wrth gwrs, mae e hefyd yn gwestiwn gyda defnydd o’r iaith Gymraeg yn lle’r iaith Saesneg i ofyn am gynnwys, hynny yw. Ond mae yna newyddion da fanna, dwi’n credu bod pethau’n dechrau gwella, bod yna systemau ar y ffordd a bod yna ymchwil yn cael ei wneud gan rai o’r prifysgolion, er enghraifft, i wella hynny.
It's also worth adding a point that you made on voice. People want to use their voice when finding content, and it's a question on using the Welsh language rather than the English language to request content. But there is some good news there that things are starting to improve, that there are systems in the pipeline and there is research being done by some universities, for example, to improve that.
Mae gen i gwestiwn clou. Chi’n gwybod pan dŷch chi’n—? Y controllers—mae gan rai ohonyn nhw Netflix fel botwm arnyn nhw. Ydy hynny wedi cael ei negodi rhwng Sony et al a Netflix? Ble mae hwnna’n cychwyn a ble mae hwnna’n stopio? Achos, gallech chi gael botwm iPlayer wedyn, neu fotwm BritBox. Ydy hynny ar yr agenda, neu ydy—?
I have a quick question. You know the controllers? Some of them have Netflix on them as a button. Has that been negotiated between Sony et al and Netflix? Because where does that begin and where does that end? Because you could have an iPlayer button or a BritBox button. Is that something that's on the agenda, or—?
Wel, mae’r rhain yn gwestiynau masnachol, wrth gwrs, lle mae negodi’n digwydd. Hefyd, wrth gwrs, ar rai controllers, mae hyd yn oed meicroffon bach nawr hefyd, a gallwch chi siarad i mewn i’r meic. So, eto, yr un cwestiwn: a fyddai’n gweithio yn y Gymraeg yn ogystal â Saesneg? Wel, dim ar hyn o bryd, efallai, ond mae’n rhywbeth sydd o bwys, dwi’n credu, yn enwedig i ddarlledwr fel S4C, er enghraifft.
Well, these are commercial questions, of course, where the negotiation happens. Of course, on some controllers, there's even a small microphone we can speak into, so, again, the same question: would it work in English and in Welsh? It doesn't at the moment, but I think it is something that is important, particularly for broadcasters such as S4C.
Ocê. Symudwn ymlaen at yr adran olaf, sef cynnwys ar gyfer cynulleidfaoedd Cymru. John Griffiths, diolch.
Okay. We'll move on to the final section, which is content for Welsh audiences. John Griffiths, thank you.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. Yes, we've touched on many of the issues that I'd like to ask you about, really, in terms of the rapid change in digital technology and services. So, in terms of video content, what would you say has been the impact of change on content for Welsh audiences? And how could we, as we go forward, secure that content? Are there any obvious ways or important ways that that could be achieved?
Sorry. Just to clarify. Do you mean content for Welsh audiences generally in English and Welsh or for Welsh language?
Generally—yes. Do you want to do that?
Mae’n gwestiwn o safbwynt bod yn greadigol. Dyw e ddim ein lle ni, efallai, fel rheoleiddiwr i ddiffinio hyn, ond mae e, efallai, yn fater i’r darlledwyr a’r darparwyr cynnwys i feddwl am ffyrdd creadigol o ddarparu cynnwys ar y llwyfannau newydd yma.
Beth sydd yn amlwg a beth sy’n bwysig yw bod y cynnwys yn cael ei ddarparu mewn lleoedd lle mae’r gynulleidfa berthnasol yn mynd i’w ffeindio fe. Felly, er enghraifft, gyda phobl ifanc, mae’n bwysig iawn ein bod ni’n trio ffeindio’r pethau yma maen nhw’n ymddiddori ynddyn nhw a gwneud yn siŵr bod y cynnwys perthnasol yno, ar gael iddyn nhw. Mae hwnna’n fater, fel dwi'n ei ddweud, creadigol, mewn gwirionedd, i’r darlledwr. Ac maen nhw wedi ymateb i hyn eithaf lot yn barod, ac maen nhw’n gwneud lot mwy o waith. Mae gan S4C, er enghraifft, uned ddigidol draw yng Nghaerfyrddin lle maen nhw’n gweithio ar syniadau fel y rhain. Rŷn ni wedi gweld llwyddiant llwyfannau fel Hansh ac yn y blaen yn y gorffennol a llwyfannau tebyg eraill, a dwi’n credu bod yna lot o le iddyn nhw fod yn greadigol iawn am hyn. Ond fel dwi’n ei ddweud, fel rheoleiddiwr, dyw e ddim yn rhywbeth y bydden ni’n ymyrryd ynddo fe. Mae hwnna’n fater iddyn nhw, felly, mewn gwirionedd.
It is a question in relation to being creative. It is perhaps not our place as a regulator to define this, but it is perhaps an issue for the broadcasters and the content providers to think of creative means of providing content on these new platforms.
Now, what is obvious and important is that that content is provided in places where the relevant audience will be able to find it. So, for example, with young people, it's very important that we do try to find those things that they are interested in and make sure that the relevant content is there, available for them. I think that's perhaps a more creative matter for the broadcasters, and they have responded quite strongly to this. They're doing much more work. For instance, S4C has a digital unit over in Carmarthen where they are working on ideas such as these. We've seen the success of platforms such as Hansh in the past, and other similar platforms, and I think that there is a lot of space for creativity here. But, as I say, it's not something for us as a regulator to intervene in; that is an issue for them, in truth.
So, this is where I slightly disagree with the advisory committee. I do think there is a role for Ofcom in guaranteeing content for audiences in the nations and, actually, we have a range of tools that we use. A lot of it is—. So, clearly, as Hywel says, there needs to be creative discretion for the broadcaster, but we do have tools about the amount of content that is produced in the nations.
We do a lot of research about what audiences feel, how they feel they are being represented or whatever. One of the biggest interventions Ofcom made—and I can't take any credit for it, because it was before my time—but we've upped it, or certainly made it clearer, is the made-outside-London guidelines, which has had a significant impact on the type and range of content that's being provided for audiences around the UK, and particularly here in Wales. I think if you talk to some of the big, really successful independent production companies here, they will say that that is one of the things that has been a catalyst for driving the creative sector here, which drives content for audiences across the UK, but also, particularly for audiences in Wales. So, I do think we have a range of tools. I don't disagree that a lot of this should be down to the creative decisions of the broadcaster, but we have tools that can form the basis for those decisions, I would say.
Sorry. I should clarify. I was referring to non-broadcast content. I thought you were alluding to content on new platforms like YouTube and so on, rather than mainstream broadcasts.
It's video content, generally.
Yes. We have, obviously, regulatory powers in relation to broadcast content, but I was thinking more of the new areas that are outside our current remit.
Robert, did you have anything to add there? I saw you indicate. We'll finish on you then.
I think the lesson of the digital era, which is at least 20 years into that now, is just the sheer abundance and plurality of content choices that people have and the sheer number of draws on media time. So, Welsh content is just one part of it. But also, broadcaster tv is just one part of it. A significant proportion of people's media time is shifting to Tik Tok or Snapchat, or environments like this.
I think there's a fundamental question about whether broadcasters should reach people where they are in the platforms they are using, or only in broadcast-like environments, videos-on-demand players. And if they should reach people where they are, what does the regulatory environment look like for that? That's just a big question, I think.
Gaf i adeiladu ar hwnna?
Can I build on that?
Jest yn glou. Rŷn ni'n gorfod gorffen.
Very quickly because we do need to finish.
Fel pwyllgor, rŷm ni, felly, yn moyn cymryd cam yn ôl ac edrych ar yr egwyddorion eang hynny: beth sydd angen ei ddarparu a lle mae e mwyaf effeithiol? Felly dŷn ni ddim yn edrych jest ar lwyfannau traddodiadol fel darlledu; rŷm ni’n moyn gweld y cynnwys yma ar gael lle bynnag mae’n mynd i fod yn fwy effeithiol, dwi’n credu. Ac rŷm ni’n gweithio ar yr egwyddorion hynny fel pwyllgor ar hyn o bryd.
As a committee, we want to take a step back and look at those broad principles: what needs to be provided and where is it most effective? So, we're not just looking at traditional platforms such as broadcasting; we do want to see this content being available wherever it is going to be most effective, I believe. And we are working on those principles at present.
A dyna beth dŷn ni wedi'i glywed o’r blaen. Dwi’n credu mai Huw Marshall wnaeth ddweud e, sef cynnwys sydd yn bwysig a sut mae hynny, wedyn, yn gallu cael ei roi ar blatfformau gwahanol, boed beth yw’r platfform. Dŷn ni’n trafod pethau mewn bocsys yn aml iawn yn hytrach na meddwl, 'Ocê, ydy’r cynnwys yn dda?' ac wedyn dechrau o’r man hwnnw. Dwi’n credu bod hwnna’n—bydden ni’n hoffi edrych arno fe, mewn ffordd, hefyd.
Dyna’r oll sydd gyda ni o ran amser, ond eich ymgynghoriad chi yw e a byddwn ni’n ymwneud â’ch ymgynghoriad chi fel corff. Felly, diolch am gychwyn y drafodaeth. Byddwn ni’n cymryd mwy o dystiolaeth yn yr wythnosau nesaf, ac felly, mae’n sicr, gobeithio, bydd gyda ni gynigion ac argymhellion i’w gwneud yn y dyfodol. Ond diolch yn fawr iawn ichi am ddod mewn atom heddiw.
And that's what we've heard in the past. I think it was Huw Marshall who said that content is the important thing and that that can then be provided on various platforms, whatever those platforms may be. We're discussing things in boxes very often rather than thinking, 'Okay, is the content any good?' and then starting from that point. And I think that's how we would want to look at it, in a way.
Well, that's all the time we have, but it's your consultation, of course, and we will engage with that consultation. So, thank you for kicking off the debate. We will be gathering further evidence over the next few weeks, and hopefully, we will have some recommendations to make in the future. So, thank you very much for joining us this morning.
Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
Seibiant o gwpl o funudau nawr ac wedyn cychwyn yn ôl. Diolch yn fawr.
We'll take a few minutes' break and then we'll start back.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:23 a 10:30.
The meeting adjourned between 10:23 and 10:30.
Diolch a chroeso yn ôl i'r pwyllgor. Dŷn ni ar eitem 3 yma y bore yma, ymchwiliad i ddyfodol darlledu gwasanaeth cyhoeddus—sgrîn fach: trafodaeth fawr. Dŷn ni'n mynd i gael dadansoddiad academaidd nawr, â'n tystion, Ruth McElroy, athro diwydiannau creadigol, Prifysgol De Cymru, a wedyn Caitriona Noonan, sef uwch ddarlithydd yn y cyfryngau a chyfathrebu, Prifysgol Caerdydd. Croeso i chi yma atom y bore yma.
Mae'n siŵr dŷch chi'n deall erbyn hyn dŷn ni'n gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol, felly byddwn ni'n gofyn i Aelodau i ofyn cwestiynau i chi yn y man. I gychwyn, gen i: ydych chi'n gallu rhoi rhyw fath o fraslun i ni ynglŷn ag a yw arferion gwylio yng Nghymru wedi newid mewn ffordd dra gwahanol i rai ledled y Deyrnas Unedig? Oes rhywbeth yn wahanol? Oes pethau wedi newid yn benodol i Gymru, neu a yw'n weddol debyg i weddill y Deyrnas Unedig?
Thank you, and welcome back to the committee. We're now on item 3 here this morning, an inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting—small screen: big debate. We will be having an academic analysis now, and our witnesses are Ruth McElroy, professor of creative industries, University of South Wales, and Caitriona Noonan, senior lecturer in media and communication, Cardiff University. So, welcome here this morning.
I'm sure you will know by now that we will be asking questions on the basis of various themes, so we will be having various Members asking questions of you in a moment. But we'll begin with me. Can you give us some sort of overview as to whether viewing habits in Wales have changed in a very different way to those throughout the rest of the UK? Is there something different? Have things changed in a way that's specific to Wales, or is it fairly similar to the rest of the UK?
Mi wnaf i gychwyn.
I'm going to speak in English so that my fellow evidence-giver can understand where I'm going for a moment. So, I think, in general, the patterns are very similar. I don't think there are massive differences in the general big picture. However, when you start to look in more detail, the reality in a devolved context, I think, means that there are certain aspects that are more prominent and have greater significance in terms of those trends in Wales.
I think issues around availability of trustworthy news is something that clearly all of us should be deeply concerned about. I think that access to content that reflects the lives of people in Wales is something that is part of a bigger debate around Welsh civil society and the development and sustainment, as a public sphere, I suppose. And so those trends, I think, are important. And I think, also, the challenges in particular for S4C as a much smaller public service broadcaster that has a hugely important role in terms of maintaining the Welsh language but also the normalisation of the language within a digital context is something that obviously is really important and is not being challenged through the delivery of Netflix, for example. S4C is in a unique position in that way. So, it's very different from the situation in England or the English regions. So, in general, that would be, I suppose, some of the headlines.
I would agree completely with Ruth. I think the 'Media Nations 2019' report was a really interesting insight into some of the trends within Wales. Certainly, in terms of value, Welsh audiences still value PSB very much, and the audience share for PSB channels is still over half—53 per cent, I think. There are still high levels of consumption of linear tv, and I think often in the current context, we hear a lot of rhetoric around change and, actually, while there are significant changes, particularly in terms of who's consuming content and where they're moving and things like that, there are also really important moments of continuity. And I think, particularly around the value of PSB for Welsh audiences and around their linear viewing, and I think that, then, raises very specific issues for the providers within Wales around providing both linear content, but also then the view-on-demand content, and I think that there will be very specific capacity issues that that raises for public service broadcasters that we might want to talk about.
But I think one of the things that Ruth and I often talk about in our research is around the different myths around digital and this idea that everything is changing—the myth of digital but also the myth of choice. I think, particularly in Wales, I think there's an interesting dynamic around this idea of choice. Yes, we have lots and lots of tv drama. I could spend all day, every day watching new, high-quality tv drama, and I can watch it across a lot of different services, but, actually, if you look at other genres, for instance, one of the other things that I look at is arts content, there's less choice—less choice of UK, original content. So, there are areas of abundance and there are areas where I think that we're having restrictions, but often they get lost in the mix.
And the second thing I would say about choice is that to have this entirety—. For a Welsh audience to have the entirety of choices available, you have to have very deep pockets. You have to pay for lots and lots of different services, and I think, Bethan, talking to you, you were asking about how things have changed. I think that's been one of the things, the fragmentation of the services and the fact that we're having to pay across lots of different services.
Felly, cyfyngiadau'r dewis. Felly efallai bod pobl yn dewis drosom ni beth dŷn ni'n ei weld yn hytrach na'n bod ni—. Er enghraifft, os ydyn ni eisiau gweld mwy o gelfyddydau, mae hwnna ar hyn o bryd wedi cael ei 'squeeze-o' fel ein bod ni ddim yn cael—
So, there are restrictions on choice. Therefore, people may be choosing for us what we see, rather than—. For example, if we want to see more of the arts, that is currently being squeezed so that we don't have—
Yn sicr. Dwi hefyd yn meddwl pan rydym ni'n edrych ymlaen, yn y pen draw, mae yna wasanaethau SVOD newydd yn dod. Felly, wrth gwrs, mae gennym ni Netflix, mae Apple newydd gychwyn, mi fydd Warner ac ati—
Certainly, and I also think, as we look forward, ultimately, there will be new SVOD services. So, we have Netflix, and Apple has just been established, and Warner and so on—
Sorry. I'm just conscious. I wanted to make sure that we communicate well on this. I think there are lots of new entrants. That requires quite a lot of agility amongst consumers, because, actually, you're talking about a more and more rich and diverse, but also highly competitive, environment. That requires consumers then to have a great deal of their own consumer or media literacy to navigate some of that. I think that's something that we need to think about, not only in terms of the generation that we hear, time and again, being talked about, that's the 16 to 24-year-olds, but the entire rest of the population where we also know that some of the issues around media literacy pertain quite seriously to older consumers, who I think absolutely deserve their prominence and their service as well.
Dŷn ni'n mynd i symud ymlaen yn awr at gwestiynau am y BBC yn benodol; byddwn ni'n trafod y rhai eraill yn nes ymlaen. Delyth.
We'll move on now to questions about the BBC, specifically, and we'll be discussing the rest later. Delyth.
Roeddwn i eisiau gofyn yn gyntaf am beth dŷch chi wedi bod yn sôn amdano ychydig bach yn barod o ran yr effaith mae'r ddarpariaeth lot ehangach sydd gyda ni, yn enwedig o ran beth oeddech chi, Caitriona, wedi—. Sori, 'Cait-ri-ona' neu 'Cat-ri-na'?
I wanted to ask, first of all, on something that you've touched upon already, in terms of the impact that the much broader provision that we have, particularly on what you, Catriona—. Sorry, is it 'Cat-ri-na' or 'Cait-ri-ona'?
Sorry. I know it's spelt that way, with 'Catriona' in Scotland, but I know one person who still pronounces it 'Cat-ri-ona'. So, sorry about that. It wasn't me being ignorant, I promise.
Sori. So, o ran y ddarpariaeth lot ehangach sydd gyda ni ym myd drama, oherwydd pethau fel Netflix, pa effaith ydych chi'n gweld hynny'n cael yn benodol ar y BBC yng Nghymru?
Sorry. In terms of the much broader provision we have in drama, because of things such as Netflix, what impact do you see that having specifically on the BBC in Wales?
In terms of what do I see the impact of drama, BBC drama in Wales—
I suppose this plurality of choice, how do you see the effect of that specifically affecting the BBC in ways that it might not affect other broadcasters? So, in a previous evidence session—I don't want to guide your answer in any way—they had suggested, because of something that Ruth had been talking about earlier, the fact that there isn't as much—. The media landscape in Wales is different from the UK—
It has very specific dynamics, particularly around—I think the key thing for me, and this wouldn't be my area of expertise—but certainly around journalism. I think that there's a provision of journalism. I know the committee have spoken to this previously about some of the capacity issues within journalism. I think, for me, the role of the BBC and the role of the public broadcasters, ITV—. If you look at some of the statistics around where people get their news, particularly young people, ITV is still hugely prominent and hugely important. So, for me, the role of the BBC hasn't changed, per se, but is perhaps more pronounced in certain areas, and I think news is one.
And then, obviously, in terms of the provision of stories, and stories maybe in terms of factual stories, but also fictional stories for and about Wales. In preparation for today, I had a look online to see Netflix and see, if you search for Wales on Netflix, what comes up. The first thing to say is that, actually, if you look at the top-10 things on Netflix, you're only getting two that are UK based, so The Crown and Top Boy are there. When you search specifically for Wales, it keeps sending you to whales, as in the mammal, not the place. [Laughter.] Where the content is on there is Hinterland, which, obviously, is PSB, and then The Crown, which refers to the Prince of Wales, and then the other one is a documentary about castles in Wales, but, again, commissioned initially by the PSBs.
So, I think, for me, the role of the PSBs hasn't changed per se, but I think has become much more pronounced within this. I think that the delivery of a range of genres—drama, arts, current affairs, all those—and their ability to speak for and about Wales is becoming more and more important, and I think speaks to the value that PSB has in Wales.
I think I would also say that it presents new opportunities that the independent sector has managed to respond to. I think the example of Hinterland/Y Gwyll is a really good example of that. One of the things that Caitriona and I, when we've been talking about the myths, and I'm going to be shameless here, but seeing as we've written a book and it has some of this data in it, this is the book, about producing drama content. There's an awful lot of talk about the abundance of drama, and SVODs like Netflix gives that impression, and it is true, there is a huge amount, and that is a huge opportunity for those independent production companies that specialise in drama production, but the thing is, an awful lot of the indie sector in Wales does not specialise in drama; it specialises in factual. I think that we see this over a period of time.
In the 1990s as academics, constantly what we were talking about was factual, not drama. It was really not the genre. So genres have different moments, and they fit into different business models. I think it's worth remembering in the context of all of this that drama is the genre that has seen the greatest reduction in terms of first-run originations in terms of hours. So, yes, there's a world of abundance, but actually if you look at what's being made here in the UK, first-run originations in drama have seen a cut, and there's a range of reasons for that, not least of which is that drama is expensive and audience tastes have developed to have high-budget, high-end, costly drama, and Netflix has very, very deep global pockets. They are difficult expectations then. There are different ways of having to manage the creative task, I think, of producing high-quality drama when the scale is massively, massively different—what S4C's entire annual budget is compared to one series of high-end drama tv.
So I think it has a huge impact in terms of what audiences see. It has an impact as well—and I think this is something that's really important about the purpose of public service broadcasting—on the wider supply chain and the creative economy. But it also has an impact, for both of us as teachers, in terms of where our students go on to work, and the job opportunities in this sector. PSBs are still absolutely the cornerstone through their commissioning of what the workforce gets to work on.
And in terms of training and development, in terms of the nurturing of writers, as part of the bigger ecology, it's not simply the BBC or the public broadcasters; it's how they've partnered with other organisations and supported—. At the end of the day the PSBs are the biggest buyers of content in the UK, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Thank you. And in terms of—again, this is something that you've already touched on quite a bit—the role of the BBC as the PSB, what you were saying about the fact that Welsh content, the stories that people see and hear, not just factual, but also fictional, and the portrayal of those, it was interesting, Caitriona, that you're talking about the things searching for 'Wales' on Netflix—. Okay, this isn't true about Hinterland/Y Gwyll, but in terms of The Crown and castles, that's a very specific portrayal that's been put out to the world, then, on Netflix of Wales—very specific. In terms of the portrayal of Wales to people in Wales on the BBC, how do you see that that is important, and do you think that the way that the BBC is operating at the moment in terms of the way that it's regulated, do you think that that is—? Do you think that it's living up to the obvious challenges that it faces?
It's one of the biggest risks, I think, for public service broadcasters, because in a sense it's wider legitimacy. And I suppose this speaks to the core public service broadcasting purpose around accountability—and I mean accountability, not regulation—is that it needs to be serving the needs of people in Wales, and I think there are areas of real concern, but also areas of strength. So, some of the areas of strength I would see are the development of co-production and the relationship with S4C that has led to some of those dramas—Craith and so on. On the other hand, I think that some of the data that has come out both from Ofcom's review of BBC News and also the 'Media Nations 2019' report gives cause for concern in terms of what audiences seem to be thinking about regional news supply. So I think there are areas of strength and weakness there. I think the actual specific regulatory model is still in some ways quite new in terms of Ofcom, and I think the other thing is, whilst the BBC can announce £8.5 million coming through, television is a slow development chain, especially in certain genres, so it can take a long time from funding being released to actually what we start to see on screen. So, I don't think that there's anything in terms of the regulatory model that I would immediately stress, but I think we have to watch that, and I think for the broadcasters, that's one of their massive challenges. In the news review, I was really struck by the qualitative focus group research, where they were basically talking about, 'I don't hear voices like mine, I don't see people like me', and that's really dangerous for any organisation, I think, because public service broadcasting's legitimacy lies in serving the public.
And I think that will be served through three things. I think it will be served through, obviously, the funding and the spend. I think it'll be informed through the kind of decision making, and I think we're seeing improvements in terms of the commissioning, and I think that that as a relationship is more and more important, not just here on the BBC but also, for instance, with Channel 4 and their out-of-London commissioning. I think the relationship between the nations and the commissioners will become incredibly important. And then I think there's a cultural change about the responsibility of the BBC to the people of Wales.
So, I think, for me, to address the issues that Ruth has raised, we need all three of those, and I think the dial is moving, and again her point about this isn't about necessarily regulation, but perhaps more accountability. I think that's the space that we need to think about.
Thank you. The final area that I had to ask you about was the licence fee model. Is there something that you would—? Do you think that the model that we have at the moment is fit for purpose? If you think it should change, how do you think it should change?
I don't think anyone would start—. If we were all starting from today, would a licence fee model be where we would begin? No. There are reasons why, faced with a range of different options, including a subscription model, I think the licence fee still has a purchase, and I think it goes to the absolute necessity of the BBC having independence. Because, in actual fact—and I think it's particularly the case with news, but not exclusively so—if public service broadcasters lose that, then they absolutely lose their legitimacy. I know that the House of Lords review recently proposed an independent model around a funding commission. It's a bit concerning that S4C's place is not mentioned in that, so I think that's something where representation—particularly if this does gain any traction in terms of policy making—really needs to be present, particularly because it's only a few years now before we're in a position where S4C is going to have to be entirely reliant on the licence fee. So, I think that needs to be very clear in terms of if that was a model, and if that was an organisation or a commission that was set up, that it would think very carefully about how it would agree the funding mechanism for S4C within that.
Yes, I would agree. I think the House of Lords report has been a really interesting and important intervention in the legitimacy of the licence fee, and I think their support for the licence fee, although a change to the process on how it's negotiated, I think is warranted. Research that I've used or I've thought about is from the European Broadcasting Union, so they're the trade union or the association of publicly funded broadcasters across Europe. And they recently looked at licence fees, and more than half of EU nations still have a licence fee. There have been some interesting shifts away from the licence fee. So, for instance, in Finland and Sweden they've moved to income-based funding. In Denmark and Iceland, they've moved to public state funding. I don't think that either of those two models would necessarily transplant neatly into the UK situation, so I would be reluctant to advocate for that.
I think the most interesting thing in the report is that the level of the licence fee directly correlated to the market share of the public broadcaster, that having a strong and stable licence fee meant a public broadcaster with a significant market share, and that was their conclusion—that licence fees, market share and stability all came together in that space. So, I think, for me, that internationally comparative research also speaks to the value of licence fees, and I think that there have been a number of different models suggested as an alternative. I'm not convinced, personally, and the research that I've seen doesn't convince me either.
Diolch. Symud ymlaen nawr at gwestiynau am ITV Cymru, a David Melding.
Thank you. We'll move on to questions about ITV Wales, and David Melding.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. Continuing that last point, really, the business model and funding model for ITV was developed in the late 1950s/1960s. There was intense competition—and anyone my age will remember this—for the licences in each round they came. And, certainly, by the 1970s and 1980s, the amount of advertising revenue that was generated was 'monopolyesque', wasn't it, in terms of its extent. Now, all of that doesn't pertain any more. Is the current model sustainable in the medium and long term, or is it going to have to be radically reviewed?
I would say we should begin the conversation about ITV with two points in mind. One, I think, is the fact that they still play a hugely important part in people's viewing in Wales, and in the rest of the UK. And, in Wales, going back to that point around plurality, particularly in news provision, they are hugely, hugely important. I think they are also quite interesting in some of the innovation that they're undertaking, particularly aimed at younger people and online content. So, that would be a first thing.
The second is to remember that, as a commercial organisation, it remains very profitable and it has responded to the realities and the shift that you were outlining in a range of ways, not least by thinking about its production arm through ITV Studios. So, I think, as a commercial organisation, it's very aware of that. I think it still has considerable purchase. There are trends here in terms of advertising, yes, but television advertising is still a big business, and is one of the most effective ways of reaching a mass audience.
So, I think there's a slight danger of sort of suggesting—almost as though media is a glass, and, eventually, if we carry on pouring the water in, we'll get to excess and it'll spill over. Actually, media is incredibly rich and we can consume a great deal of it. There's space for an awful lot of content in there, and an awful lot of different types of advertising. I think there might be a question in due course about the regulation of advertising and whether advertising on broadcast television and advertising online are facing similar regulatory regimes. But that's not something—obviously, I'm not an expert in advertising.
So, I think that it's fair to say that the value of the licence is not static and is changing, but I would say there's still value in that licence, and it's also very good to see ITV Wales continuing to operate with an ethos of public service broadcasting.
And would that include the Welsh licence, for instance, or is ITV hugely commercially viable because of other sectors, really, or because of the other 13 licences? And some of those are obviously in highly lucrative areas—south-east England, London, et cetera.
Yes, I suppose that—what I would say is that we shouldn't forget that ITV's presence is not just in terms of as a broadcaster here, but also through companies like Boom and the production arm that it has here in Wales.
If these licences are still so valuable, why is there no competition for them anymore?
I think it would be very difficult to become a new entrant, at this point, into that market. So, if you're going to be a new entrant, you're looking to where the future new spaces are. It's much easier to enter into a space that is not already very well controlled. ITV has such an enormous history. The very fact that you refer back to your own memories, and I think many of us do—whether you grew up in a BBC or an ITV household, for example, still has purchase. It's still one of the things that came through in the review of BBC news. 'Why do you watch BBC?' 'Because we grew up in a BBC news household.' It doesn't sound very digital, does it? But it's still driving people's behaviours. So, there's a kind of brand recognition, there's an occupation of the space, that I think is really important.
And if all new licences in England and Wales are held by one company—ITV—should we move away from the fiction of regional licences and just say they're a national provider and it would be better to see them as such and to regulate and impose public sector broadcasting obligations on them that way?
I wouldn't move in that direction. I think the very fact of the history of ITV as regional, as having a distinct connection to the regions in which it was operating, actually is part of where its value lies, and goes back to that question of legitimacy, actually, and where some of its best content, I think, can come from, and how it can serve the public, and why the public in Wales are watching particularly its news provision. So, I wouldn't say that, prima facie, there's a reason for doing that.
I also think, in the current digital landscape, scale is a really important feature, and I think breaking up the licences would work against that. So, I think that there is an economic rationale to keep that together. And I think if you're going to have broadcasters that compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon—who, as we said earlier, have massively inflated budgets compared to what we have here in the UK, of any of the broadcasters—I think scale and brand recognition are still really important in this digital landscape. I think that ITV, while they might have been maybe slow around their digital provision—so, for instance, their ITV Hub and things like that—the direction of traffic, I think, is good, and I think, particularly given how they've diversified into production as well, that they are in a better place to respond to that.
I think, if we were looking anywhere as to where ITV Wales could have a stronger route, it would be, I think, in terms of thinking about how its content appears on ITV Hub. So, going back to the point that you made about when you're searching for Netflix—. This is a point about prominence. Actually, the ease of access and getting ITV Wales's content onto the Hub, I think, is quite an important issue, and it would be good to see movement on that, I think.
So, it seems to me that you think it's fairly robust at the moment, that there won't be factors pushing ITV away from remaining a linear broadcaster with public sector broadcasting responsibilities, instead of flipping over and becoming like their digital rivals and riding that market.
I don't know that they would become their digital rivals. I think that the possibility of their becoming a different kind of commercial entity and whether they can still see value in the longer term to the licence that matches the degree of ask in terms of what exactly they're being asked to produce in terms of news and current affairs, for example—. So, I think it's a question of degree, not an absolute.
So, the PSB bit is—at the minute, would you regard that as optimum, or—? If they're hugely commercially successful, are we not demanding enough? Should we be more demanding? Where is the optimum line there?
I think there's a real difficulty in terms of if we think that—not unproblematically, but one of the ways of defining and thinking about public service broadcasting is in terms of market failure. I think that the market for Welsh-only content is limited, and therefore the licence and that regulatory regime is really important in securing provision. I think that that is a different issue, then, if we think about how ITV has responded to the push to locate production across the UK, and I think, in comparison with the BBC, what you do see with ITV is it has very distinct centres of production, which are not here in Wales. So, because they're not operating under the same quota system, the sort of feed-through in terms of production is very, very different in terms of what we get on screen.
Would that be a way you'd perhaps see of altering the Welsh licence in the future, to have an element there that does pull in more production?
I don't know whether I'd say it with such certainty, but I think that thinking about how ITV might engage with the wider push towards regions and nations production would be useful. I think the success of those companies in Wales, in Boom, that do that already would be a good platform from which to begin that conversation.
Diolch, David. Mae'n rhaid i ni symud ymlaen o ran amser. Carwyn Jones ar S4C.
Thank you, David. We do have to move on in terms of time. So, Carwyn Jones on S4C, please.
Diolch, Cadeirydd. I just wanted to touch base on funding models if I could, particularly in terms of developing a sustainable funding model for S4C. Obviously, at one point, there was direct funding from UK Government. Now it's a mixture of mainly BBC Trust funding through the licence fee and then there's a small grant, isn't there, from DCMS.
Three countries that I'd like to just focus on, and I wonder if you've got any comment on them: the first one is the BBC Alba model in Scotland, how does that work as a BBC channel; secondly, the Teilifís na Gaeilge Ceathair, the TG4 broadcasting in Ireland, how that's working, and how that is funded and the model there. And, thirdly, you mentioned Iceland earlier on, a country with 330,000 Icelandic speakers, under huge pressure from English as well in the country—a number of channels are available, but you mentioned that they'd moved to a PBS model, effectively.
To state funding.
I beg your pardon—to state funding. But there are some subscription channels in Iceland and, clearly, there's state funding for what looked to me as if there are 12 channels in total on tv in Iceland. How does that model work? The reason I'm asking is: are there any lessons we could learn from those models as far as S4C is concerned? Can you give us some idea—briefly—how each model works?
I can speak to the TG4 model. As you can hear, I am a consumer of TG4. So, TG4, for those who don't know, is the Irish language broadcaster of Ireland. So, in Ireland, there are two public broadcasters—RTÉ and TG4—and TG4, it's about, I think, 20 years old now. It transmits in the Irish language, but also has some content in English or dubs as well and subtitles into Irish.
In terms of how it's funded, I believe it's part of—. There's advertising on it. So, it's a dual model of both the licence fee and advertising. I would say that it has had a rough couple of years, in terms of the advertising industry. Obviously, in Ireland, we've had a much deeper economic recession than you've had in the UK, so that has, obviously, had an impact on the levels of advertising. That's impacted both RTÉ and TG4, and there have been calls over the last couple of years for the levels of funding for both RTÉ and TG4 to be changed.
I think that one of the interesting developments with TG4, where, in particular, maybe the things that we can learn are that S4C—. And I know that both are in conversation with each other—Ruth and I were involved in a project in which S4C and TG4 were partners with us. They've done some interesting things around sport and picking up rights in some minority sports like, for instance, camogie, the Irish sport. They've also made a decision not to geoblock their content internationally, looking at the demand from people like me, who don't live in Ireland but who might want to get that content. There are limited secondary markets for Irish language content, and so they've decided not to geoblock their content, so most content—not all content—depending on the licence, is freely available.
So, I think that there are some interesting examples in Ireland, but I wouldn't say that TG4 is—. I think that it is very robust and I think it has been creatively very good, but I think that they would recognise that there are funding challenges there as well.
So, what I would add to that, I suppose, is a couple of things: it's (1) just to remember that the scale of S4C is still greater than many of the minority language broadcasters, if we're looking at the likes of TG4. One of the things, when we were putting some assessment together in terms of funding models when the S4C remit was up for renegotiation and being looked at, was just how diverse the different models are for smaller broadcasters, in particular what I would group together, although they are very different, as what you might think of as content funds, as opposed to the funding of a broadcaster that then commissions content.
That was one of the things that really, really struck us, which, therefore, means that you can often have some incredibly complex relationships between different organisations that are being given what we might think of as more like arts funding. To some extent, I think you can still see that with BBC Alba, for example, and you can certainly see that in some of the other minority language broadcasters in western Europe, where other forms of screen agencies or arts bodies or language boards are actually becoming a kind of joint funder of content.
I think that that's more understandable in a context where we're talking about minority languages that are not as widely spoken as Welsh, where there isn't a broadcaster that has the history, the legacy and the developed supply chain that S4C does have here in Wales.
Could I—? Thanks. Go raibh maith agat—thanks for that. As far as Iceland is concerned, how does the model work there? Clearly, with such a small population, how do the economics work, with so many channels? What's the funding model they have there? They've been quite successful in terms of selling some of their programming abroad, but is it just straight state funding and is that true for all of the free-to-air channels, do you know?
I don't know if it's true for all free-to-air channels, but I think a lot of this comes down to—. We shouldn't forget that the political ethos that underpins state funding in many of the Nordic countries reflects the different political culture that they're operating in and the fact that the Nordic countries actually have a very long-established model of co-production that is far in excess of anything that we see here in the UK. And it's at a very early co-development, for example. So, when we see Icelandic content, there is often a legacy relationship with the Danish, the Norwegian and the Swedish public service broadcasters as well.
And that being accepted, it can be very Icelandic content but might have co-funding from the Danes and things like that. So, I think, that is, in terms of the kind of content they have and the success of the content, I think those historic co-production agreements, I think, have been really, really successful.
And the funding model—. Is it simply a funding model or—? As far as state funding is concerned, it's a straight funding model from taxation, is it?
I believe so.
I believe so. I'm happy to share the report from the—
Yes, it would be interesting, just to give us an idea. I mean, BBC Alba, I think, is just a straightforward BBC channel.
Okay. It would be quite interesting for me just to see the comparison.
Yes, we can share that.
I would say that in relation both to Denmark and Iceland that moved to state funding, there were criticisms. It wasn't something that was accepted wholly. There was a lot of concern within the sector about impartiality and about sustainability and things like that. So, even though we often look to the Nordic countries as, kind of, a model for best practice in relation to content, for instance, around the success of Nordic Noir, they, too, have their own concerns and their own concerns around sustainability in particular.
I see one channel's owned by the Government of Iceland, but that's Alþingi, which means it's the parliamentary channel. So, I doubt very much whether it attracts a huge amount of viewers, but there we are. Diolch, Gadeirydd. Thank you.
That's not good. That's not a model—
They've based some of the dramas on that, but I'm not sure—. [Laughter.] Mick Antoniw.
I'll just put together a few points with regard to the issue of prominence that we've been discussing and, really, what your take is on the challenges. Ofcom earlier, of course, were talking about the need for new legislation in this particular area, particularly with regard to internet accessibility and so on in terms of that, and, again, a particular aspect being the, I suppose, particular circumstances with regard to Wales. So, really, just what your views are on that, its importance, any views you have as to what could and should be done, your views on regulation, and any particular expertise you have on this issue.
I think prominence is absolutely going to become more of an issue, not less. In this era of digital abundance, actually, the ability to find content that speaks to both the actual equipment, devices, so we're talking about manufacturers here—it's talking about the capacity of consumers or viewers to have the wider literacy to be able to navigate that, and how that may or may not be made as easy as possible for them, as well as the place of regulators in all of this.
I think the consumer and the media literacy view is the one that is most often dropped off in this debate, but, again, the opportunities that digital affords also demands more from people who are not necessarily well served and being supported in being able to navigate that landscape. I think that we're in a point now where we can still see that linear television is still hugely popular. We mustn't lose sight of that. And so, things like the EPG do continue to have significance and prominence there matters. And I'm particularly conscious for S4C that that is particularly important.
At the same time, we have to be thinking about how content in catch-up services is made prominent, for example. So, in terms of how hard it is sometimes to actually find content and how much you have to navigate, we shouldn't forget that the landing page of the iPlayer is as significant a guide to where people will go as when you put your EPG up. So, thinking about the architecture of landing pages and what's put on there, and the extent to which moves towards personalisation of content can help with that, potentially, but also the technical ability and the research and development behind that, especially for smaller broadcasters like S4C, is quite a big challenge, and, in turn, where their data analytics come from in terms of being able to think what should be pushed towards viewers, particularly those—I'm really conscious of S4C—outside of Wales—. So, I think that there needs to be a recognition that prominence is going to mean different things and it will require different levers from the regulator, but prominence as a value is absolutely key for PSB content.
And I think, within the PSB spaces, if you think about what happens when you go on your homepage of iPlayer, the programmes that come up are either new or they're popular. So, how do we create prominence within public service content, so certain content around—I think we talked about it earlier—Welsh castles or whatever can find its way on? I think that we'll be looking more towards the prominence of PSB content, and I think that there's a role for the PSBs to think about the public service algorithm. How do we offer a distinct form of algorithm that as well as offering the new and the popular, also offers that wide range and brings some of the principles of public service broadcasting into that new interface?
The other thing I would just add in terms of prominence is linear tv is incredibly important and the remote control as a device is incredibly important. I have a tv that's got a Netflix button on it, and that bypasses a lot of the traditional way in which people get to content. But what about when the remote control is no longer the main device that you use to get to content? So, what about when you talk to Alexa or Siri and ask them to put on iPlayer or put on Doctor Who or whatever content it is? I think within that space—this is very much an English language space, to be perfectly honest. And so, in a voice-search environment, where does the Welsh language—? What are some of the opportunities for the Welsh language and what are some of the technical and cultural challenges for the Welsh language in operating within that? And I think that's where interventions will be really important, which will be partly driven by the public service broadcasters, but also by policy makers like yourselves as well.
So, legislation, essentially.
I think so.
Yes, and legislation with the recognition that this will change and evolve very rapidly. So, this isn't something to do as a one-off, this will be something that will constantly need to be thought about. Particularly because what we're dealing with here are global players in terms of manufacturers and service providers.
And thinking about that now, if we put in place the infrastructure to allow that—. If you think about how your sat nav pronounces Welsh names—things like that. How are you going to find that content in Welsh language? So, it's beginning to think about that now. Obviously, the prominence debate at the moment is very much around the EPG, and I think that's incredibly important for sustainability now, but it's also futureproofing some of the discussions around prominence.
My Alexa has specific difficulty with Tonyrefail, I can tell you. [Laughter.]
Sorry, we don't have much time left. John Griffiths—just to end.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. In terms of video content, obviously we've seen quite some growth—there's a lot of choice now for people. What has been the impact of that in terms of specific content for Welsh audiences? How might we secure that content as we move forward?
I think that one of the things that we need to think about there is in terms of the opportunities that might exist for independent production companies to be involved in delivering content for the likes of Netflix, but also to think about where other opportunities are afforded. So, I know that the House of Lords report, for example, pointed to Sex Education as an example, but that's an interesting example because it doesn't reflect Wales. There is no clear cultural representational value to that programme. However, it did give us an opportunity for some of the young people, who mostly come from the south Wales Valleys, to us as an institution—to give them the opportunity, before they'd even graduated, to work on a Netflix production, which in terms of their CVs is really important.
So, I would say that there are opportunities that the SVODs afford, not only cultural but economic in terms of the Welsh workforce. And so there are reasons why we want to engage positively there. But I would also say that there's a longer term problem because of the business model that Netflix has. And in terms of long-term revenue streams of independent production companies, there's a real problem.
Following on from Ruth's point, I think there are amazing opportunities to work with the SVODs, with the likes of Netflix, and obviously Sex Education has been an interesting example off that. But there are risks, I think, for production companies. Much of the content from Netflix is very big budget, and so most independent production companies in Wales probably wouldn't be operating on that scale. If you do operate on that scale, for me, I suppose there are three different kind of risks associated with working with the SVODs.
The first one is the rights, about how they buy the rights and how they buy the rights internationally. So, if you do find yourself having a success, you're not able to leverage that value across multiple markets. The second one is, from what I know, and maybe the committee might ask some of our colleagues later on from the independent sector—but from my knowledge, the independent sector rarely gets any information about how content has performed. And that's a really important resource in terms of being able to determine market value. If you don't know how well your content did or what the audience was for it, or anything like that, how do you grow, how do you learn?
And then the second one, or the third one, then, what the Lords started pointing to is an overheating—that there's an inflation of the costs and demands on talent. The thing about that third one, though, is we can do something about that in terms of training and development, as we've said. So, I think there are risks with independent production companies working with the SVODs and I think that there are certain ways that we can mitigate some of those risks, but a lot of them are just because they aren't accountable in the way that public service broadcasters are, and we talked about that at the beginning.
Okay. Diolch yn fawr.
A tiny question, just on the content thing: is that because they would know about the content if they were recommissioned—that would be a simple way of saying, 'You've been successful'? But when they haven't—they're not told in terms of viewing figures, or how do they not know about the content, sorry, because I just was a bit confused by that?
They're rarely told about how it's performed in terms of the viewing—. Netflix doesn't make—[Inaudible.]—Netflix, as far as I know. So, for terrestrial broadcasters, you obviously have the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board, and BARB is an incredible resource in terms of giving the market value of your content. 'You did really well, you were top-rated in the UK.' But for the SVODs, there is no obligation on them to share that. They may share that in the kind of, 'We want more of this, because this was well—.' But it isn't part of the landscape of that, so it's difficult in terms of how a production company—. Maybe this is a question for—I know there are some independent production companies coming in, and my understanding is that that feedback loop doesn't happen with the SVODs in the way that it does with the PSBs—
And that doesn't help them when they want to look at new ideas and new commissions, because if they're not told how well that did, they might say, 'Well, we'll do something similar', but that wasn't actually what might be useful for them to do.
I think the issue here is there's an awful lot, when it comes to Netflix, that we don't know, because they're not required to tell as, and that's the bigger regulatory challenge and that's a challenge for the companies who work with them, but it's a challenge for any of us as analysts who want to actually know what is happening.
For instance, we don't know how often people are accessing Hinterland or any of that kind of content, so we don't know how popular it is and, therefore, how widely the Welsh content is being seen.
Okay, that's really interesting. We'll have to probe further into that.
Diolch yn fawr iawn ichi am ddod i mewn atom ni heddiw. Mae'n siŵr y byddwn ni'n siarad gyda chi yn y dyfodol ynglŷn â'r hyn dŷn ni'n ei wneud gyda'r gwaith yma. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Byddwn ni'n cael seibiant o gwpwl o funudau, os yw hynny'n iawn gydag Aelodau.
Thank you very much for coming in and joining us today. I'm sure we'll be speaking to you in the future about what we are doing with this work. Thank you very much.
We will take a very brief break of a few minutes, if that's all right with Members.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 11:17 ac 11:23.
The meeting adjourned between 11:17 and 11:23.
Diolch a chroeso nôl i'r pwyllgor y bore yma. Rydym ni'n parhau gyda'r ymchwiliad i ddyfodol darlledu gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, y sgrin fach: trafodaeth fawr, ac rydym ni'n croesawu'r cynhyrchwyr cynnwys annibynnol yma atom heddiw—rhai ohonoch chi dŷn ni wedi croesawu yma o'r blaen, wrth gwrs. Mae gennym ni Martyn Ingram, Made In Wales, croeso i chi; Angharad Mair o Tinopolis; Llion Iwan o Gwmni Da; ac hefyd Gareth Williams o Rondo Media. Croeso i chi oll.
Fel arfer, rydym ni'n gofyn cwestiynau ar sail themâu gwahanol, felly os yw'n iawn gyda chi, awn ni yn syth i mewn i gwestiynau a bydd Aelodau'r Cynulliad yn dod i mewn ar hyd y drafodaeth. Y cwestiwn cyntaf gen i yw'r effaith o ran y sector digidol yn benodol, ond mewn ffordd eang o ran braslun o'r hyn sydd yn digwydd ar hyn o bryd. Ydych chi wedi gweld bod newid o ran sut mae'r arferion gwylio yn wahanol yng Nghymru o gymharu â gweddill y Deyrnas Unedig, neu a yw e'n gyffredinol yr un peth? Oes barn gyda chi o ran hynny, i gychwyn y drafodaeth? Gareth, rydych chi'n edrych yn keen i ateb.
Thank you and welcome back to the committee this morning. We continue with our inquiry into the future of PSB, small screen: big debate, and we welcome independent content producers here today—some of you are people that we have welcomed here in the past, of course. We have Martyn Ingram, Made In Wales; Angharad Mair from Tinopolis; Llion Iwan from Cwmni Da; and also Gareth Williams from Rondo Media. I'd like to welcome you all here.
As is our practice, we ask questions on the basis of themes, so we'll dive straight into questions, and various Assembly Members will come in at various points in the discussion. So the first question is from me and it's on the impact of the digital sector specifically, but talking more broadly, looking for an overview as to what is happening presently. Have you seen a change in Wales to how viewing habits are different compared to the rest of the UK, or would you say that it is generally speaking the same? Do you have a view on that, just to start the discussion? Gareth, you look keen to answer.
Mae yna debygrwydd yn sicr. A gaf i ymddiheuro am ddechrau efo'r pêl-droed, efallai?
If you'll forgive me for starting with the football.
Roeddem wrth ein boddau ddoe. Onid oedd yn enghraifft wych o pam bod darlledu cyhoeddus mor bwysig—bod modd gweld y gêm yna neithiwr yn fyw ar S4C? Rwyf wedi bod yn craffu nawr; rwy'n meddwl fy mod i wedi cael y ffigurau cyrhaeddiad, ond roedd yna gannoedd o filoedd—rwy'n credu 350,000 o gyrhaeddiad—i'r darllediad yna ar Sgorio neithiwr ar S4C. Roedd hi'n cael ei darlledu hefyd, wrth gwrs, ar Radio Cymru, a beth rŷm ni'n gweld gyda'r gyfres unigol honno, efallai, yw twf aruthrol yn y clipiau a'r ymwneud sydd yn gysylltiedig â'r brand. Efallai bod rhai ohonoch chi'n ymwneud â 'do the Dai'. Rwy'n edrych ar Angharad. Yn Llanelli, roedd yna gefnogwr brwd iawn yn cael ei weld pob tro roedd Llanelli'n sgorio yn dathlu y tu cefn i'r gôl. Fe gafodd y clip yna, dwi'n meddwl, ei weld dros 4 miliwn o weithiau. Cafodd ei gynnwys ar Football Focus; mae hwnna wedi creu dilyniant aruthrol. Met Caerdydd yn cyrraedd Ewrop, y gêm yna gyda'r Bala, dros 1 miliwn wedi gwylio'r clip yna o'r gêm pan aethon nhw ymlaen.
Felly, mae'r twf o amgylch brandiau yn ddigidol a'r cynnwys sydd yn gysylltiedig â brandiau fel yna yn tyfu'n sicr, ond maen nhw'n deillio yn y lle cyntaf o ariannu o ddarlledu cyhoeddus. Rwy'n meddwl bod y datblygiadau sydd yn digwydd yn benodol yng Nghymru, lle mae Cymru wedi bod ar y blaen, yw darpariaeth rhaglenni plant yn enwedig. Rydym ni wedi gweld methiant darlledwyr eraill o ran cynnwys i blant a phobl ifanc, lle rydym wedi gorfod cael lefel o intervention, mewn ffordd, trwy'r gronfa i blant ifanc mae'r British Film Institute yn ei rhedeg, ac mae Cwmni Da a chwmni Boom Cymru wedi bod yn llwyddiannus yn cael arian o fanna. Rwy'n credu bod hwnna'n un ffordd o edrych ymlaen a gweld lle dyw darlledwyr cyhoeddus efallai ddim yn ymrwymo digon i rai meysydd, ein bod ni'n gallu edrych ymlaen a defnyddio arian fel y gronfa BFI a'r £57 miliwn yna sydd wedi ei neilltuo i blant a phobl ifanc, a'n bod ni'n symud ymlaen i edrych ar enghreifftiau eraill fel yna yn y dyfodol, efallai, lle dyw darlledwyr, ar hyn o bryd, ddim yn buddsoddi'n ddigonol yn y meysydd a'r genre rhaglenni yna.
Rwy'n falch iawn o weld, ers i'r gronfa yna gael ei chyhoeddi, fod ITV wedi cynyddu faint maen nhw'n gwario ar gynnwys plant. Mae Milkshake!, rwy'n credu bod y gyllideb yna'n dyblu gyda Channel 5. Mae Channel 4 wedi cyhoeddi eu bod nhw'n gwneud cronfa newydd ddigidol ar gyfer plant a phobl ifanc rhwng 13 ac 16. Felly, maen nhw'n cydnabod, mewn ffordd, fod yn rhaid i ni ddal y gynulleidfa yma'n amlach ac yn fwy swnllyd, ac ar gyfryngau sy'n berthnasol iddyn nhw, yn hytrach na'r darlledu llinol traddodiadol. Felly, yn hynny o beth, yn sicr yn narpariaeth rhaglenni plant a phobl ifanc, rwy'n credu bod Cymru wedi bod ar flaen y gad.
We were delighted yesterday, weren't we? Isn't it an excellent example as to why public service broadcasting is so important—that we could watch that game live on S4C? I think I've got the reach figures, but there were hundreds of thousands—maybe a 350,000 reach—for that Sgorio production on S4C. It was also broadcast on Radio Cymru, and what we see with that particular programme is a huge growth in the clips related to the brand. Some of you may be familiar with 'do the Dai'. I'm looking at Angharad. There was a very eager supporter who celebrated behind the Llanelli goal every time they scored, and that clip was viewed over 4 million times. It was included on Football Focus, and that's created a huge following. Cardiff Met qualifying for Europe, that game with Bala, over 1 million viewed that clip.
So, the growth around brands on a digital level and the content related to brands such as that is certainly growing, but they emerge initially from the funding of public service broadcasting. I do think that the developments happening, particularly in Wales, where Wales has been in the vanguard, is on the provision of children's programming. We have seen the failure of other broadcasters in terms of content for children and young people, where we have had to have a level of intervention through the children's fund run by the British Film Institute, and Cwmni Da and Boom Cymru have been successful in accessing funding from that source. And I think that's one way of looking forward and seeing where public service broadcasters aren't committing enough to certain areas, looking at funding such as the BFI fund and the £57 million allocated to children and young people, and at other such examples for the future where broadcasters currently aren't investing sufficiently in those areas and those genres.
I'm particularly pleased to see, since the announcement of that fund, that ITV has increased its spend on children's programming. The Milkshake! budget for Channel 5 has doubled, I think, and Channel 4 has announced that there is to be a new digital fund for children and young people between 13 and 16. So, they have acknowledged that we need to capture this audience more effectively, and on the media that is most appropriate and relevant to them, rather than the traditional linear broadcasting. So, in that regard, certainly from the point of view of children and young people, Wales has been in the vanguard.
Ocê. Newyddion da i gychwyn y drafodaeth, felly. Unrhyw un arall?
That's good news to start off the discussion. Anyone else want to come in?
O ran y ddarpariaeth ddigidol, y gwahaniaeth rhwng Cymru a gweddill Prydain, fedraf i ddim dweud fy mod i wedi sylwi ar unrhyw wahaniaeth yn y patrymau gwylio, ond beth sy'n gyffredin ydy ei bod hi'n gymaint haws i gael gafael ar gynnwys ac ar raglenni. Rydych chi'n gallu lawrlwytho, rydych chi'n gallu ymgysylltu efo'r gynulleidfa drwy gymaint o wahanol ffyrdd yn ddigidol. Felly, mae'r rheini i gyd yn bethau cadarnhaol. Ond, wrth gwrs, yng Nghymru, mae gennym ni heriau oherwydd economi'r wlad, cefn gwlad, problemau cysylltu â dyfeisiadau y tu allan i'r prif ddinasoedd, fel un sy'n byw mewn tref yn y gogledd. Mae'r rheini i gyd yn heriau ac, wrth gwrs, o sôn am wasanaeth darlledu cyhoeddus, mae o am ddim, onid ydy? Tra bod yna ystod anferth o ddewisiadau a phlatfformau i'w gael, mae'n rhaid talu amdanyn nhw, ac nid pawb sy'n gallu fforddio'r rheina. Felly, pa bynnag ffordd rydym ni'n sôn am, yn ddigidol neu'n ddaearyddol, mae'n rhaid i ni gadw hynna mewn cof—pwysigrwydd hwnna, a'r gwasanaeth mae'n rhoi i'n gwylwyr.
In terms of the digital provision, the difference between Wales and the rest of the UK, I can't say I've noticed a change in the viewing patterns, but what I would say is that it's easier to access content and programmes. You can download, you can engage with the audience through so many means, digitally. So, I think that's a positive thing. Now, in Wales, we do have challenges because of the nature of the country's economy, rural Wales, and we've got problems with being able to access options outside of the main cities, as one who lives in a town in north Wales. These are some of the main challenges, but in terms of PSBs, that provision is free, isn't it? So while you have this great choice of platforms, you have to pay for them, and not everyone can afford that. So, whatever means we talk about, digital or terrestrial, we have to bear that in mind—the importance of that, and the service that we provide viewers.
O ran ychwanegiad bach i'r hyn mae Gareth a Llion wedi ei ddweud, fel rhywun sy'n cynhyrchu rhaglenni dyddiol i S4C—Heno a Prynhawn Da—yn sicr, un o'r gwerthoedd mawr a phwysig, dwi'n meddwl, o safbwynt ein cynnwys ni yn ddigidol yw ein bod ni'n gallu gweld yn union faint o bobl sy'n gwylio'r cynnwys hwnnw. Achos un o'r pethau sydd wedi bod yn faen tramgwydd i S4C yw'r ffaith eu bod nhw fel sianel a darlledwr yn gorfod dibynnu ar ffigurau'r Broadcasters' Audience Research Board i ddangos faint sy'n gwylio, achos yn ystadegol mae'r ffigurau hynny mor fach, yn bendant, yn fy marn bersonol i, maen nhw'n not fit for purpose. O leiaf wedyn, mae yn gallu dangos beth yw poblogrwydd cynnwys Cymraeg ac, wrth gwrs, ar ben hynny, mae'n golygu bod yna wasanaeth Cymraeg, a bod yr iaith Gymraeg yn cael ei chlywed ar blatfformau megis Facebook a Twitter hefyd, sy'n hollbwysig. Ond, o safbwynt gallu gweld yn union bod miloedd lawer yn gallu gwylio ein heitemau ni yn fwy na mae BARB yn ei ddweud wrthym ni, dwi'n meddwl bod hynna'n bwerus tu hwnt.
Just to add to what Gareth and Llion have already said, as one who produces programmes on a daily basis for S4C—Heno and Prynhawn Da—certainly, one of the great and important values in terms of our content digitally is that we can see exactly how many people are viewing the content. Because one of the things that has been a barrier for S4C perhaps is the fact that they as a channel and a broadcaster do have to rely on the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board figures to see what their viewership is, because statistically those figures are so small, certainly in my view, they're not fit for purpose. But at least then, we can demonstrate the popularity of Welsh language content, and in addition to that, it does mean that there is a Welsh language service and the Welsh language is heard on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which is crucially important. But in terms of identifying the fact that very many thousands can view our output more than BARB actually tells us, I think that's hugely powerful.
One particular area that I've been involved with for many years is the scrutiny of you guys, political journalism—well, I call it 'democratic deficit'. And I think Wales is not unique—pretty unique—in the UK, for the change in the digital consumption and the way that people engage with politics. I think Wales has got a market failure in its journalism, and I've noticed it over 35 years. I've been doing this for a long time and have seen massive changes in the coverage of politics in Wales and journalism, and there's that correlation between the increase in powers and the decrease in scrutiny.
I did a survey for the Wales Report about five years ago, it was just an ad hoc survey, so I wouldn't put too much to it, but we checked how many professional journalists that were working compared to paid PR consultants. And in the public sector it was 4:1, four on the side of the paid PR and a quarter of journalists scrutinising. I think, seeing the Brexit that I was involved with, it was one of the most disturbing campaigns I've been involved with in terms of information and the way that the digital media now—. Last night, the Conservatives doing the fact checker thing, for which they've been rapped on the knuckles, during the debate. Who are the trusted suppliers outside the public service broadcasters? For me, I was at the BBC for many years, so I defend the BBC and S4C. But, what will the market do in Wales when we have a pretty weak journalistic sector, I have to say?
When I started in journalism in Wales 35 years ago, you went to a press conference with you guys and there would be 20 journalists, national newspaper correspondents. Now, you know better than me, you're lucky to get a handful of journalists. So, how, in this mad world of content, digital content, fragmented media, information—? I think we can have information overload and understanding underload. We get a lot of information, it's coming at us from all directions. Who are the mediators in Wales? Who are the scrutinisers? Who's making sense of it?
I think Brexit—. This election, I think, is fascinating. I won't go on and on. But, you look at the big debate about the NHS, how many of our electorate understand it's not the responsibility of Westminster? In the most recent poll I saw, just under 50 per cent of people knew the NHS was run by the Senedd. So, it's a massive battle. It's a complicated devolution settlement, and to bring the digital in, we've got this mass information, a lot of it I wouldn't trust, but how do we trust it? And that's where, for me, it's public service broadcasters in that sphere of democracy, and not just news provision. I've always worked in current affairs and I think there is a difference between giving people information and interpreting, scrutinising, examining that information in an unbiased, in the broadest sense, way. And I think that's the real challenge for the consumption of media in that sphere for me, and something that does worry me a lot having been involved with it for a number of years.
Jest y cwestiwn olaf gen i, achos mae cymaint o gwestiynau eraill, o ran yr effaith mae symud i ddigidol yn cael ar eich cwmnïau chi. A ydy'r cwmnïau, y cewri mawr, yn dod atoch chi i gomisiynu gwaith—Netflixes ac Amazons y byd yma—neu ydyn nhw'n cadw at gwmnïau mawr rhyngwladol nad sydd yn dod o Gymru? Beth yw'ch persbectif chi ar hynny?
And just a final question from me, because there are many other questions to come, about the impact that the digital shift is having on your companies. Do the online giants come to your companies to commission work—the Netflixes and Amazons of this world—or do they stick to major international companies that do not come from Wales? What's your perspective on that?
Mae Netflix yn dechrau dod, yn sicr, onid ydyn nhw? Dŷn ni wedi gweld nhw'n ffilmio cyfresi yma'n ddiweddar—
Netflix are starting to come here, aren't they? We have seen Netflix working here recently—
Ond, ydyn nhw'n defnyddio chi fel cwmnïau o Gymru?
But, do they use you as Welsh companies?
Dŷn ni ddim wedi cydweithio gyda nhw. Dwi'n hoffi meddwl efallai daw cyfle rhyw ddydd. Ond, maen nhw'n sicr yn edrych ar weithio law yn llaw hefyd gyda chwmnïau darlledu cyhoeddus, sy'n ddiddorol i fi. Rŷm ni'n gweld enghreifftiau, er enghraifft, o'r BBC a Netflix yn cydweithio ar gynnyrch. Un dyddiad nodedig iawn i fi eleni oedd 5 Ebrill. Ar 5 Ebrill eleni, fe wnaeth Netflix ddarlledu cyfres fawr o'r enw Our Planet—cyfres fawr ddogfennol, maen nhw wedi cael eu cysylltu gyda dramâu yn bennaf cyn hynny, efallai—ac roedd o'n rhyw fath o ddatganiad ganddyn nhw, achos roedd y gyfres yma'n cael ei chyflwyno gan David Attenborough, yr wyneb, y llais sy'n cael ei gysylltu'n anad unrhyw gyflwynydd arall, efallai, gyda'r BBC, sydd wedi bod yn darlledu ar y BBC ers 1954. Erbyn diwedd eleni, neu fis Medi eleni, roedden nhw wedi cyhoeddi—y BBC a Netflix gyda'i gilydd—eu bod nhw’n cydweithio ar gyd-gynhyrchiad newydd o'r enw Life in Colour, gyda David Attenborough. Felly, mae'r bydoedd yma'n croesi mewn i'w gilydd nawr.
Ac wrth bod Netflix yn cael mwy a mwy o gystadleuaeth ffyrnig, mae'n rhaid i ni beidio â meddwl ei bod hi'n fêl i gyd ym myd y subscription videos on demand, achos dyw hi ddim, o bell ffordd. Mae gan Netflix ddyledion o filiynau o ddoleri; mae ganddyn nhw bwysau aruthrol, ac mae yna gystadleuaeth ffyrnicach o lawer, byddwn i'n dadlau, yn dod i'w cyfeiriad nhw o Disney+ a'r gwasanaethau newydd sydd yn ymddangos nawr. Maen nhw, i ryw raddau, gallech chi ddadlau, angen cydweithio a phartneru â darlledwyr cyhoeddus er mwyn gallu manteisio ar safon y cynnyrch, gwerth y cynnyrch, a'r math o amlygrwydd sy'n dod gyda peth o'r cyd-fuddsoddiadau yna. Felly, mae'n grêt gweld nhw'n dod i Gymru, mae'n grêt eu gweld nhw'n gwario mwy ar gynyrchiadau yn y Deyrnas Unedig. Beth sydd yn gallu digwydd gyda nhw weithiau yw eu bod nhw'n gweithio ar raddfa mor uchel, yn enwedig mewn drama, o ran pris yr awr—ac rŷn ni wedi clywed pobl yn dweud bod pris yr awr cyfres fel The Crown gyfystyr â chyllideb cynnwys blwyddyn S4C, ac maen nhw'n ddrud. Rŷn ni'n clywed am y llwyddiannau. Dŷn ni ddim yn clywed sut cymaint am y methiannau, lle maen nhw wedi colli ffortiwn ar fuddsoddiadau drudfawr sydd ddim wedi gweithio yn rhyngwladol. Felly, mae eu model nhw yn cael ei wasgu yn yr un modd â modelau cwmnïau eraill. Ond mae'n braf eu bod nhw'n dod yma, eu bod nhw'n cymysgu'r ecoleg.
Beth sy'n colli mas yng Nghymru, efallai, yw'r dramâu yna sydd ddim ar y raddfa yna, sy'n cael eu cyllido ar gyllideb ychydig yn fwy modest na'r math o tariffs maen nhw'n edrych arnyn nhw. Roedd hwnna, rwy'n credu, yn le gwerthfawr iawn i ddatblygu awduron, ysgrifenwyr, talent cynhyrchu, actorion newydd, ac mae yna beryg bod y math o gyfresi drama y mae S4C yn ceisio eu hariannu a'u cyd-ariannu, er enghraifft, dan straen achos bod sut gwahaniaeth o ran taliadau rhwng y dramâu drudfawr yma—ac mae'n wych eu bod nhw yma yng Nghymru, peidiwch â fy nghael i'n rong, ond mae yna efallai le i edrych ar ryw ddull o intervention i gefnogi mathau eraill o ddramâu sydd ddim efallai'n cwrdd â'r threshold yna o £800,000 yr awr i gael y tax credit, i helpu gyda chyrraedd y £1 miliwn yna wedyn. Mae yna falans i'w gael, dwi'n meddwl. Nid dyna'r unig fath o ddramâu y mae cynulleidfaoedd yn awchus amdanyn nhw.
We haven't worked with them. I hope there will be opportunities in the future. But, they are certainly looking at working with public service broadcast companies, which is interesting for me. We see examples of the BBC and Netflix collaborating. One notable date for me this year was 5 April. On 5 April of this year, Netflix broadcast a major series called Our Planet—a major documentary series, they'd mainly been associated with dramas before that—and it was a statement from them, because this series was presented by David Attenborough, the face and the voice who is most associated with the BBC, possibly more than any other presenter, and who has been broadcasting on the BBC since 1954. By the end of this year, in September, the BBC and Netflix had announced that they were to collaborate on a joint production called Life in Colour, again with David Attenborough. So, these two worlds are merging now.
And as Netflix is facing more and more fierce competition, we can't think that it's all rosy in the world of the subscription videos on demand, because it's not. Netflix has debts of billions of dollars; they face huge pressures, and there is far more fierce competition for them from Disney+ and those new services that are appearing now. They, to a certain extent, you could argue, need to work and partner with public service broadcasters in order to benefit from the quality and the value of the productions, and the kind of prominence they get from that joint investment. It's great that they're coming to Wales, it's great that we are seeing them spending more on productions in the UK. What can happen with them on occasions is that they work at such a high level, particularly in drama, in terms of cost per hour—and we've heard people say that the cost per hour for a series like The Crown is akin to a year's content budget for S4C, and they are expensive. We hear about the successes. We don't hear so much about the failures, where they have lost a fortune on hugely expensive productions that haven't worked internationally. So, their model is being squeezed, as are the models of other companies. But it's good that they are coming here and are part of the ecology.
What Wales is missing out on, perhaps, is those dramas that aren't on that scale and are funded slightly more modestly than the kind of tariffs that they work to. And I think that was a very valuable space to develop authors, writers, production talent and new actors, and there is a risk that the kind of drama series that S4C is trying to fund and jointly fund is put under stress because there is such a difference in terms of payments between these hugely expensive dramas—and it is wonderful that they are here in Wales, don't get me wrong, but there may be scope to look at some form of intervention to support other forms of drama that perhaps don't meet that threshold of £800,000 per hour to get the tax credit and to help with reaching that £1 million. So, there's a balance to be struck, I think. That isn't the only kind of drama that audiences want to view.
Unrhyw un arall? Does dim rhaid i bawb ateb pob cwestiwn, ond ydych chi wedi cael unrhyw fudd o rai o'r cwmnïau digidol sy'n dechrau dod drwy'r farchnad, neu beidio neu—?
Does anyone else want to come in? Not everyone has to answer all questions, but have you benefited from some of these digital companies that are starting to come through the market or not?
Dim o'n rhan ni, ond beth sydd yn digwydd yn gynyddol dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf ac sy'n mynd i fod yn cynyddu yn y blynyddoedd nesaf ydy'r darlledwr cyhoeddus yn cynyddu canran y comisiynau sy'n mynd i'r gwledydd a'r rhanbarthau, felly mae hynny'n iach iawn ac mae o'n rhannu'r gwaith yna allan wedyn. Mae'n rhaid bod yn gystadleuol, ac mae'n rhaid gwneud y safon hefyd. Ond, o'n rhan ni fel cwmni, dwi'n gwybod bod yna sawl cwmni hefyd yn gweithio y tu allan efo'r gwledydd Celtaidd a draw i—rydym ni'n gweithio efo darlledwyr yng Nghorea ac yn Tsieina. Felly, mae hynny ond yn iach i ddatblygu staff ac o ran yr economi hefyd, onid ydy?
Well, not from our part, but what is increasingly happening over the past few years and I think will increase over the next few years is that the public broadcaster is increasing the percentage of commissioning going to the nations and regions, and I think that's very healthy and it shares out that work. It has to be competitive, and it has to meet a standard, but, from our point of view as a company, and there are several other companies who work with other companies from the Celtic nations and—we're working with broadcasters in Korea and China. And I think it is healthy for our staff and our economy to do that.
Ocê. Gwnawn ni symud ymlaen at gwestiynau am y BBC yn gyffredinol gyda Delyth Jewell.
Okay. We'll move on, therefore, to questions about the BBC in general from Delyth Jewell.
Diolch, Cadeirydd. Roedd Gareth wedi bod yn sôn ychydig am hyn, o ran yr effaith mae pethau fel Netflix a'r dewis sydd lot ehangach o ran beth bynnag ydy 'content' yn Gymraeg—beth mae hynny'n ei gael ar y cyfryngau'n gyffredinol yng Nghymru. Pa effaith dŷch chi'n meddwl mae hynny'n ei gael, o'ch safbwynt chi, ar y BBC, a sut dŷch chi'n gweld hynny'n effeithio ar eich gwaith?
Thank you, Chair. Gareth has touched on this, in terms of the impact things such as Netflix have and the broader choice of content. Now, what impact does all of that have on the media in general in Wales, and what impact particularly, from your perspective, does that have on the BBC, and how do you see that impacting on your work?
Mae'n talent yn pitsio iddyn nhw, felly mae pobl yn brysur yn gweithio iddyn nhw, felly dydyn nhw ddim bob tro ar gael i wneud y comisiynau o ran y BBC a'r darlledwyr cyhoeddus yna. Mae o'n le arall i fynd i weithio ynddo, onid ydy? Mae'r platfformau eraill sy'n dod i mewn—rydym ni gyd fel cwmnïau eisiau mynd i weithio iddyn nhw, achos mae yna gyllidebau yna. Mae'n iach o ran y busnes, onid ydy?
Our talent pitches to them, so people are very busy working for them, so they're not always available to do the commissions for the BBC and those public broadcasters. It's another marketplace, isn't? The other platforms that are coming in—well, we all as companies want to try to work for them, because there's funding there, and it is healthy, therefore, for our business.
I would say that you have fewer, bigger things, and in this completely noisy, fragmented marketplace, which is changing so much and people watch so many different things—those big moments, those expensive moments, the Netflix, the BBC, His Dark Materials, et cetera, that you look at—you have to have something big to shout through. And I think that it is difficult for companies to grow in Wales, because, if you're investing that amount of money, you usually go to your known suppliers, because, as a broadcaster—£20 million, £30 million, you've got to trust the talent, et cetera. So, it's interesting to see Bad Wolf, and that's trusted talent that built that company—Jane Tranter, et cetera—and they went with the talent that was known. So, I think it is difficult for companies, because the middle ground is not a nice place to be. You've got the end—. And I was going to add, about the way you're getting business from Netflix—very hard. They have known suppliers and are discovering big people, but it is a more anarchic place, these days—we've been in discussion with Facebook—because the gatekeepers between content and consumer are much weaker, because anyone can publish on a YouTube channel, et cetera, and you can build up a business by going straight to market with your material now on that end of it. But the bigger things—hugely expensive dramas—are the things that people are invested in, so you get fewer bigger things, which are harder to compete with, because there are fewer bigger companies. These are international, multinational, global companies—I used to work for one—so you are competing in that environment, which is hard.
Pan ŷch chi'n edrych ar gynyrchiadau fel cynyrchiadau Bad Wolf, sy'n wych, wrth gwrs, ac mae'r adnodd yn y bae fan hyn yn aruthrol o bwysig i Gymru, rwy'n meddwl, a'r gwaith maen nhw'n ei wneud nawr i'r BBC fel His Dark Materials ac ati—. Ond, ar y llaw arall, dwi'n meddwl mai'r peth pwysicaf o safbwynt darlledu yng Nghymru, a'r cwestiynau sydd yn rhaid gael eu hateb, yw, fel y cododd Hywel William gydag Ofcom bore yma, yr egwyddorion—pa fath o ddarlledu cyhoeddus rŷm ni'n moyn yn y dyfodol yng Nghymru—a bod angen edrych yn ehangach ar beth yw gwerth darlledu cyhoeddus a beth sy'n bwysig i gynulleidfaoedd yng Nghymru. Dyna yw'r lle, dwi'n meddwl—mae'n bwysig bod pwyllgor fel hwn yn craffu ar y math yna o beth.
Yn bersonol, dwi'n meddwl mai'r ateb i'r dyfodol yw datganoli darlledu. Dwi'n meddwl bod yna gwestiynau i'w hateb nawr. Dwi'n meddwl bod angen i rywle fel y Cynulliad a Llywodraeth Cymru edrych yn fanwl—
When you look at productions such as Bad Wolf productions, which are excellent, of course, and the resource available in the bay here is hugely important for Wales, I think, and the work that they're doing now for the BBC, such as His Dark Materials—. But, on the other hand, I think the most important thing in terms of broadcasting in Wales, and the questions that have to be answered, is, as Hywel William raised with Ofcom this morning, the principles—what kind of public service broadcasting do we want for the future in Wales—and the need to look more broadly at the value of public broadcasting and what is important to audiences in Wales. I think that is where we should focus. It's important that a committee such as this should be scrutinising this kind of thing.
Personally, I think the solution for the future is to devolve broadcasting. I do think that there are questions to be answered now. I think somewhere like the Assembly and the Welsh Government needs to look—
Dŷn ni'n mynd i edrych arno fe flwyddyn nesaf.
We are going to be looking at that next year.
—ar sut rŷm ni'n mynd i allu cael darlledu cyhoeddus sy'n gwasanaethu pobl Cymru.
I godi'r pwynt wnaeth Martyn gynnau hefyd, o safbwynt beth sy'n digwydd nawr gyda'r etholiad—wel, yn gyntaf, beth ddigwyddodd gydag Adam Boulton yn gofyn i chi am nad yw Cymru'n wlad, ond beth ddigwyddodd neithiwr yn sbesiffig o ran yr etholiad, dwi'n meddwl, sef bod gyda chi ddadl am wyth o'r gloch rhwng y ddau brif arweinydd, wedyn roedd gennych chi'r pleidiau llai, ond ni chlywyd yr un gair am Gymru o gwbl yn ystod hynny o gwbl. Yr unig beth a gafwyd gan ITV—ar ITV Cymru am chwarter i hanner nos, pan oedd y rhan fwyaf o bobl wedi mynd i'r gwely, cafwyd Liz Saville Roberts, wedyn, yn cael pum munud, a dyna'r unig dro glywoch chi unrhyw beth am Gymru.
Mae'r etholiad ar hyn o bryd yn un pwnc sbesiffig iawn, a dwi'n meddwl bod angen edrych yn ehangach ar beth sy'n digwydd o ddydd i ddydd. Hynny yw, mae cynulleidfaoedd Cymru, fel cynulleidfaoedd pobman arall, yn mwynhau'r prosiectau mawr yma—y rhai sydd ag arian mawr wedi'i wario arnyn nhw. Ond mae'r deficit democrataidd, mae plwraliaeth—. Mae hynny i gyd gymaint ar goll yng Nghymru. Dwi'n meddwl bod yn wirioneddol, erbyn hyn, angen edrych yn fwy gofalus ar sut mae rheoleiddio'r holl waith o ddarlledu sy'n digwydd yng Nghymru ac sy'n cael ei weld gan gynulleidfaoedd yng Nghymru.
—at how we can have public broadcasting that serves the people of Wales.
To pick up on the point that Martyn made earlier, from the point of view of what's happening now with the election—well, first of all, what happened with Adam Boulton asking you, or suggesting at least, that Wales isn't a nation, but what happened yesterday evening specifically, in terms of the election, where you had a debate at eight o'clock between the two main leaders and then you had the smaller parties, but not a word was spoken about Wales at all. The only thing that we had from ITV—on ITV Cymru, at a quarter to midnight, when most people had gone to bed, we had Liz Saville Roberts, who was given five minutes, and that was the only mention of Wales.
The election, at present, is one very specific issue, and I think we need to look more broadly at what happens on a day-to-day basis. Audiences in Wales, like audiences elsewhere, enjoy these major productions—those that are funded to a great extent. But the democratic deficit, plurality—. That is missing in Wales. I now truly believe that we need to look more closely at how we regulate the whole landscape of broadcasting in Wales and that's viewed by audiences in Wales.
Dwi'n meddwl, er ei bod hi'n her chwarae ar y tir canolig yma roedd Martyn yn ei ddisgrifio, mae'n dal i fod cyfleoedd yna. Wrth fod yna fwy a mwy a mwy o gystadleuaeth, mae'r cystadleuwyr yma i gyd yn chwilio am gynnwys. Mae'r cynnwys yna sydd yn cael ei greu gan gwmnïau o wahanol feintiau, os yw e'n gynnwys sydd yn teithio ac yn gynnwys sydd yn mynd i apelio i'r farchnad ryngwladol—mae yna ddosbarthwyr awchus yn y farchnad am y cynnwys.
A nad yw rhai o'r dosbarthwyr yna yn ddosbarthwyr sydd yn dosbarthu dramâu sydd yn £15 miliwn neu'n £20 miliwn y bennod—maen nhw'n dosbarthu amrediad o gynnwys yn benodol i wahanol farchnadoedd maen nhw'n eu hadnabod. Mae'r dosbarthwyr yn dod yn fwy ac yn fwy dylanwadol, dwi'n meddwl, lle roedden nhw arfer bod yn cael eu gweld fel darn olaf y jig-sô, pan oeddech chi'n ariannu cynlluniau.
Mae rhai ohonyn nhw nawr yn cymryd y blaen fel darlledwyr, ac yn gwybod, 'Wel, rŷm ni'n gwybod fel mae'r rhain yn mynd i werthu ac rŷm ni'n gwybod y niferoedd rŷm ni eu hangen'. Roedd Angharad yn cyfeirio fanna at Bad Wolf. Dyna'r newid sylfaenol yna i ddrama: y foliwm, y bulk. Dechreuodd e gyda Doctor Who—cyfresi oedden nhw—Casualty—cyfresi sydd yn dychwelyd, sydd yn aros yma, sydd yn gwreiddio yma, sydd yn tyfu, sydd yn ehangu.
Dyna beth, dwi'n meddwl, sydd yn newid yr ecoleg ddarlledu yn rhywle—dyna lle mae S4C wedi newid darlledu ac ecoleg yng Nghymru, i bob pwrpas, oherwydd ei bod hi wedi meithrin a datblygu cenedlaethau, dwi'n meddwl, o wneuthurwyr rhaglenni sydd yn creu swmp o gynnyrch sydd yn dychwelyd. Dwi'n meddwl bod modd edrych ar enghreifftiau pellach o hynny i Gymru nawr y tu hwnt i ddrama. Mae drama yn bendant yn llwyddo, ond nid dyna'r unig faes allai lwyddo.
I think that, although it is a challenge to be playing in the middle ground, as Martyn was describing, there are still opportunities there. As there is an increasing number of competitors, all of these competitors are seeking content. The content that is created by companies of various sizes, if it is content that travels and content that will appeal to an international market—well, there will be people who are looking desperately for that content.
And some of those distributors are not distributors who sell dramas that are £15 million or £20 million an episode—they've got a range of content specifically for markets that they know. So, the distributors are becoming increasingly influential, I think, where they used to be seen as the final part of the jigsaw, when you were funding schemes.
Some of them are now going to broadcasters and saying, 'Well, we know what's going to sell and we know what numbers we need'. Angharad mentioned Bad Wolf just now. The substantial change in drama is in terms of the volume, the bulk. It started with Doctor Who, Casualty—these are series that are returning, that are staying here, that grow roots here; they grow and they expand.
I think that is what is changing the broadcasting ecology—that's how S4C has changed the broadcasting ecology in Wales, to all intents and purposes, because it has developed generations, now, of programme makers who create a volume of content that is returning. I think that it is possible to look at further examples of that for Wales, now, beyond drama. Drama is certainly succeeding, but that's not the only area that could be flourishing.
Na, yn sicr. Wel, diolch. Yn amlwg, ar lefel bersonol a phleidiol, rwy'n cytuno â phopeth roeddech chi'n ei ddweud am hynny.
O ran beth oedd Martyn wedi sôn amdano fe yn gynharach, a beth oedd Angharad wedi codi wedyn, roeddwn i eisiau gofyn i chi am rôl y BBC yng Nghymru a sut mae hynny, efallai, yn distinct o'i chymharu â rôl y BBC ar draws Prydain oherwydd y deficit democrataidd yma. Wel, beth yw—? Ydych chi eisiau ychwanegu unrhyw beth arall at y pwynt yna o ran bod yna fwy, efallai, o ddyletswydd ar y BBC i wneud yn siŵr bod straeon Cymru yn cael eu hadrodd i bobl Cymru, oherwydd dŷn ni ddim, efallai, mewn unrhyw faes, yn ffuglen neu o ran newyddion—? Oes unrhyw beth arall—? Rwy'n gwybod bod hyn wedi cael ei drafod eisoes, ond oes unrhyw beth arall rŷch chi eisiau ychwanegu at hynny?
No, certainly. Well, thank you. Clearly, on a personal and party political level, I agree with all of your comments on that.
In terms of Martyn's comments earlier, and what Angharad also raised, I wanted to ask you about the role of the BBC in Wales and how that is distinct as compared with the role of the BBC across the rest of the UK because of this democratic deficit. Well, what is—? Do you want to add anything to the comments that you've already made on that, in terms of the fact that there is a greater duty on the BBC in Wales to ensure that Welsh stories are covered in Wales for the people of Wales, in any area, in fact, in terms of fiction or news and current affairs? I know that this has already been discussed, but is there anything you would like to add to that?
Wel, rwy'n meddwl bod angen sefydlu corff i ddarparu newyddion, yn bendant, yng Nghymru, er mwyn sicrhau bod newyddion yn cael eu darparu ar bob platfform, a bod hwnnw yn gorff a fyddai'n amlwg yn un fyddai'n ddiduedd, yn sicrhau—. Achos, ar hyn o bryd, beth sydd gyda chi o safbwynt newyddion yw bod gyda chi newyddion y BBC yng Nghymru, ond dyna'r newyddion hefyd dŷch chi'n eu gweld ar S4C. Dyw pobl ddim yn cael cymaint â hynny o newyddion bellach o'r papurau. Yn ddigidol hefyd mae'n anodd iawn, iawn sefydlu gwasanaeth newyddion, felly dwi'n teimlo mai un o'r pethau pwysicaf y dylid ei sefydlu nawr yng Nghymru yw rhyw fath o gorff a fyddai'n darparu gwasanaeth newyddion diduedd ar gyfer unrhyw un fyddai eisiau defnyddio'r newyddion hynny ym mha bynnag ffordd.
Well, I think there's a need to establish a body to provide news, certainly, in Wales, in order to ensure that news is provided on all platforms, and that should be an organisation that should, obviously, be impartial. Because what you have currently, in terms of news, is the BBC news in Wales, but that is also the news that you will see on S4C. People don't get that much news from newspapers anymore, and, also, digitally, it's very, very difficult to establish a news service. So, I feel that one of the most important things that should be established now in Wales would be some sort of organisation that would be providing a news service that is impartial and for anyone who would like to use that news in whatever means.
I'd only just like to add the immense power and responsibility there is on the BBC in Wales, perhaps more than in any other place in the UK, because of the market structure in Wales. You look at radio too—there isn't a commercial speech radio in Wales; they've removed their news bulletins on a number of the channels. So, you look at the BBC, and with great power comes great responsibility. And, I agree, we are also after plurality. But I think it's such a challenge when BBC Wales—I spent many years arguing for more money when I was there, and some did come, but BBC Wales, I think—. It's different even than in Scotland—we've got two languages and a different media ecology in Wales to Scotland. Therefore, the responsibility on the public service broadcasters, particularly the BBC—and ITV, but particularly the BBC—is great, and I think it is almost too much for them. There's a battle against this avalanche of information that comes through the digital platforms now. You kind of feel like the BBC and public service broadcasters in Wales are standing there with fingers in proverbial dykes, sometimes, just trying to hold back and be that mediating voice, which I think is really important.
I think the journalist's role is as a mediator of information, something that I grew up in—and I think we're perhaps losing that a bit—and going direct to the electorate with information, which all of you do as well. But the trusted voice—the BBC still has that, and S4C. It has still got that, and that brand is incredibly important in Wales, and the trust.
Byddwn i'n licio deall tamaid bach yn fwy ynglŷn â lle maen nhw'n gweld eu strategaeth tymor hir nhw, lle mae Cymru yn y cwestiwn. Achos mae yna—. Rwy'n cofio Ken MacQuarrie yn dod i fan hyn ac yn dweud wrthych chi, Bethan, y byddai'n dod i Gaerdydd unwaith y mis. Dydw i ddim yn gwybod os yw hynny'n digwydd—efallai ei fod e yn digwydd ac efallai ei fod e'n ymwneud â'r BBC—ond mae e, fel cyfarwyddwr y cenhedloedd yn y BBC, dwi'n meddwl, â rôl allweddol yn hyn.
Mae Tony Hall wedi dweud yn rhyw speech yn yr RTS bod eisiau meddwl tymor hir am gael mwy o arian, mwy o fuddsoddiad, ar gyfer cwmnïau a chynyrchiadau tu allan i Lundain, a datganoli mwy o'r BBC y tu allan a thu hwnt i Lundain. Byddai fe'n ddifyr gweld beth yw'r meddylfryd pellach am hynny.
O ran comisiynu BBC Wales, rwy'n rhyw fath o ddeall y rhesymeg ynglŷn â—roedd Martyn yn ei ddweud e, rwy'n credu—'far fewer, bigger, better', a'r gwthio yma sydd yn digwydd i drio cael mwy o'r cynyrchiadau yna i gael eu gweld ar y rhwydweithiau hefyd, ac mae hynny'n cael ei groesawu. Ond rwyf hefyd yn gweld tueddiad lle mae canran gymharol uchel o'r arian newydd a ddaeth o ran lefel y comisiynu—mae yna dueddiad wedi bod i'r arian yna fynd i gwmnïau sydd ym Mryste, yn Glasgow, yn Llundain, yn Lerpwl.
Wrth gwrs, mae cystadleuaeth yn iach, ac rŷm ni fel Cymry yn cystadlu ar gyfer cynyrchiadau tu allan i Gymru, ond efallai bod eisiau iddyn nhw edrych ar sut mae modd comisiynu gyda'r gadwyn o gwmnïau annibynnol sydd yng Nghymru, er mwyn cryfhau'r ddarpariaeth yna ar elfennau o bortread ac amrywiaeth wrth symud ymlaen i gyrraedd y nod gyda'n gilydd. Dwi ddim yn dweud ein bod ni'n dieithrio cwmnïau o'r tu allan i Gymru o fod yn cael eu cynnyrch i'w weld ar BBC Wales. Mae modd elwa o hynny, ond dwi'n meddwl eich bod chi ddim yn gwneud hynny ar draul cyfleoedd i'r cwmnïau cynhyrchu yng Nghymru. Ond doeddwn i ddim yn gwybod, er enghraifft, fod yna bethau fel portrayal funds a diversity funds y BBC ar gael, ac ar gael i fod yn datblygu darpariaeth ac ystod ac amrywiaeth a phlwraliaeth, a dwi'n credu y byddai fe'n dda clywed ganddyn nhw i esbonio beth yw'r rhain, sut mae modd cystadlu ar eu cyfer nhw, beth yw'r enghreifftiau lle maen nhw wedi gweithio ac wedi gwella'r ddarpariaeth.
I'd like to understand a little more about where they see their long-term strategy, as far as Wales is concerned. I do remember Ken MacQuarrie coming here and telling you, Bethan, that he would be coming to Cardiff once a month. Now, I don't know if that happens—perhaps it does and perhaps he engages with the BBC—but as the director of nations and regions in the BBC, he has a crucial role, I believe, in this.
Tony Hall has said in a speech to the RTS that we need to think long term about having more funding, more investment, for companies and productions outside of London, and to devolve more of the BBC outside London. It would be interesting to see what the further thinking on that is.
In terms of the commissioning of BBC Wales, I do sort of understand the rationale, as Martyn was saying, about 'far fewer, bigger, better', and this push that is taking place to try to get more of those productions to be seen on the network also, and that is to be welcomed. But I also see a tendency where a relatively high percentage of the new funding that came in terms of commissioning has tended to go to companies in Bristol, Glasgow, London and Liverpool.
Of course, competition is healthy, and we, as Welsh companies, are competing for these productions outside of Wales, but perhaps they need to look at how they commission with the chain of independent companies in Wales, in order to strengthen that provision and the element of portrayal and diversity in terms of moving forward to achieve our aim together. I'm not saying we should be alienating companies outside of Wales to be able to produce for BBC Wales. You can benefit from that, but I don't think that you should do so to the disadvantage of companies in Wales. I didn't know, for example, that there were things such as portrayal funds and diversity funds available through the BBC, and that these were available to develop provision and a range of diversity and plurality, and I think it would be good to hear from them to explain what these are, and how to compete for them, and to give examples of where they've worked and where they've improved the provision.
I ategu at yr hyn rwyt ti'n ei ddweud hefyd, o safbwynt y gystadleuaeth, ydy, mae hynny'n ddigon teg, ond o gomisiynu cwmnïau yng Nghymru i greu cynnwys ar gyfer BBC Wales, er enghraifft, mae'r arian hwnnw yn help i'r economi hefyd. Mae mor bwysig i economi Cymru fod gennym ni gwmnïau darlledu, cwmnïau teledu ac ati yng Nghymru, achos os yw'r arian i gyd yn mynd mas o Gymru, neu ganran uchel o'r arian yn mynd mas o Gymru, wel, dyw hynny ddim yn dda i'r economi, chwaith. Achos mae darlledu, rwyf i'n meddwl, yn rhan bwysig o'r economi, gwaith pobl ifanc, cyfleoedd ac ati, ac rwyf i'n meddwl bod angen edrych yn ofalus iawn ar bwysigrwydd comisiynu pobl sydd yng Nghymru.
Just to echo what you say in terms of competition, yes, that's fair enough, but in commissioning companies in Wales to create content for BBC Wales, for example, then that funding stays in Wales and it helps the economy. It is so very important to the Welsh economy that we do have broadcast companies and production companies and so on here in Wales, because if all of the funding goes outside of Wales, or a high percentage of the funds goes out of Wales, then that isn't good for the economy either. Because broadcasting, I think, is an important part of the economy of Wales, and work for young people and opportunities, and I think we need to look very carefully at the importance of commissioning people working in Wales.
Mae Ofcom, dwi'n gwybod, wedi bod yn edrych ar hwn yn ddiweddar iawn—yr amodau, y tri amod arbennig sydd yn rhaid ichi gyrraedd er mwyn cael eich categoreiddio fel eich bod chi'n out-of-London production, ac mae yna enghreifftiau, dwi'n credu, lle mae pobl wedi bod yn agos iawn i'r ymyl, gyda bach o ddadansoddi creadigol iawn, ac mae yna rai yn honni efallai fod rhai o'r cynyrchiadau yna ddim mor out of London a bydden nhw'n honni. Felly, dwi'n credu bod hwnna'n bwysig. Fel mae Angharad yn dweud, os ydym ni'n mynd i ddatblygu'r gweithle a chyfleoedd i bobl ifanc ddod mewn i'r diwydiant a chael profiadau anhygoel, fel rydym ni wedi'u cael, yn gwneud amryw o gynyrchiadau i amryw ddarlledwyr, mae eisiau bod yn ofalus ac yn onest am hwnna, dwi'n meddwl.
I know that Ofcom have been looking at this recently—the three particular conditions that you have to meet to described as an out-of-London production. I think there have been examples where people may have been on the margins, and there has been some creative analysis taking place, but I think that some of those productions may not have been as out of London as was claimed. So, I think that's important. As Angharad said, if we are to develop the workplace, the opportunities for young people to enter the industry, and to get these incredible opportunities that we've had in a variety of productions for a variety of broadcasters, we do need to take care, and we need to be honest about that as well.
Oes. Rŷn ni'n cyflogi dros 100 o bobl yn Llanelli, sy'n dref mor dlawd. Heb ein gwaith ni yno, ni fuasai'r cyfleoedd yna i bobl ifanc, i allu aros yn eu hardal eu hunain i weithio, hefyd drwy gyfrwng yr iaith Gymraeg, sydd mor bwysig. Dwi'n meddwl ei bod hi mor bwysig fel rhan o ateb i dlodi yn economi Cymru.
Yes. We employ over 100 people in Llanelli, which is a very poor town. Without our work there, those opportunities wouldn't exist for young people to remain in their own area and to work, and also work through the medium of the Welsh language, which is also very important. I do think that it is so important as part of the solution to poverty in Wales, too.
Mae'n rhaid inni symud ymlaen, yn anffodus, Delyth—
We do have to move on, unfortunately, Delyth—
Ie, iawn. Mae hynny'n rili diddorol. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Yes, that's fine. That's really interesting. Thank you very much.
—diffyg amser eithriadol. A does dim rhaid i bawb ateb pob cwestiwn. Sori. David Melding.
—we really are stretched for time. And not everyone has to respond to every question. Sorry. David Melding.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd. If I can just look at ITV and ask how confident you are that this business model and the way we regulate commercial television is sustainable. All 13 licences in England and Wales are held by ITV—there's no competition for the licences—and there are issues, I suppose, about where they're going in terms of advertising revenue and the danger that they end up looking more and more like their digital competitors, and we don't see much value, then, in the public service broadcasting element of their work. So, where do you think the ITV model is at the moment?
I just think it's important that they remain a public service broadcaster in Wales and are regulated to supply the hours they are at the moment, and not more, because commercially, I know they have concerns about that. And I think they are such an important part of the ecology of broadcasting in Wales that they have to remain a public service broadcaster with regulatory requirements for particular hours, because if you allow that to go into the commercial marketplace, where do we end then? You're taking someone else out of a very limited ecology of broadcasters and media, certainly at the moment. So, I think that that regulation of ITV is really important. I'd like them to do more. To be honest, I really would like the clients to be bigger, but I understand the commercial realities of it. But it's where—we are in a very commercial media world. How much you can control that—. We're in a global media commercial world, and you can't and wouldn't want to control it too much, but in Wales, I think the public service broadcasters, across a range of output, are so important to us that I think ITV has to remain part of that and be regulated to produce material along those lines.
Dwi'n meddwl fy mod i'n iawn i ddweud bod eu hincwm hysbysebu nhw ar i lawr, ond mae eu hincwm hysbysebu ar-lein nhw ar i fyny. A'r hyn oedd yn gyfrifol am, dwi'n credu, rhyw 30 y cant o'u profits nhw llynedd oedd gweithgareddau ITV Studios. Mae ITV Studios yn gyfrifol am gynhyrchu rhai o gyfresi mwyaf blaengar y BBC. Meddyliwch am Bodyguard, Line of Duty—mae'r rhain yn cael eu cynhyrchu gan gwmnïau sydd dan berchnogaeth ITV Studios. ITV Studios sydd yn dosbarthu a gwerthu'r rheini.
Byddai'r ecoleg yna, ar un adeg, dwi'n siŵr, ddim wedi bodoli o gwbl. Mae e eto yn enghraifft, dwi'n credu, o le mae'r darlledwyr yma yn adnabod cryfderau gwahanol, yn adnabod cyfleoedd gwahanol, ac yn cydweithio ar werthu cynnyrch ei gilydd. Dwi ddim yn gwybod beth yw'r diweddaraf o ran ffigurau BBC Studios, ond dyna maen nhw'n anelu ato fe hefyd—i dyfu'r cyfleoedd masnachol yna iddyn nhw, a chymryd eu siâr nhw o'r farchnad fel maen nhw'n gweld lle mae cyfleoedd iddyn nhw wneud hynny. Ac mae ITV Studios wedi bod yn buddsoddi'n helaeth iawn mewn niferoedd o gwmnïau cynhyrchu, gan gynnwys rhai o'r cwmnïau drama yna.
I think I've heard that their advertising income is down, but their online income has increased. And I think what was responsible for some 30 per cent of their profits last year was the activities of ITV Studios. ITV Studios is responsible for producing some of the most prominent BBC programmes. Think of Line of Duty and Bodyguard—these are produced by companies that are under the ownership of ITV Studios. It's ITV Studios that distributes and sells those.
That ecology, at one point, I'm sure, would not have existed at all. It is again an example of where these broadcasters identify various strengths and opportunities and work together on selling each other's product. I don't know what the latest is about the figures of BBC Studios, but that's what they're aiming for also—to grow the commercial opportunities for them, and to take their share of the market where they see that there is an opportunity for them to do so. And ITV Studios has been investing very much in a number of production companies, including some of those drama companies.
Mae ITV yng Nghymru yn rhan bwysig o'r ecoleg o ddarlledu cyhoeddus, achos mae gwasanaeth newyddion ganddyn nhw, nid yn gystadleuaeth efo'r BBC yn unig, ond mae hefyd yn golygu bod fwy o ystod o straeon yn cael eu gwneud am ein gwlad ni, a'r comisiynu ffeithiol maen nhw'n gallu gwneud hefyd yng Nghymru. Eto, mae hwnnw'n cynyddu'r straeon a'r ardaloedd yng Nghymru sydd yn cael y sylw. Felly, mae o dan bwysau ond mae'n rhan allweddol yng Nghymru o'r ecoleg yna o ohebu am ein gwlad ni yn y ddwy iaith.
ITV in Wales is an important part of the broadcast ecology, because they have a news service, not in competition with the BBC, but it just means that there is a broader range of stories, and there's the factual commissioning in Wales. Again, that increases the number of stories and areas of Wales that are covered. So, they are under pressure but they are a crucial part of that ecology of corresponding on our country in both languages.
Dwi'n credu bod yna enghraifft reit bositif o gyfres am Bortmeirion y gwnaeth Slam ei chynhyrchu—gwnaeth honno fynd i rwydwaith hefyd. Fe wnaeth hi ymddangos ar ITV rhwydwaith—dwi'n credu fy mod i'n iawn i ddweud hynny. Ond mae ITV Cymru yn gweld y cyfleoedd hefyd i gael eu cynnyrch nhw i gael ei weld y tu hwnt i Gymru, wrth gyd-fuddsoddi â phrif sianel ITV, felly.
I think there's a very positive example of a programme about Portmeirion that Slam produced, and it appeared on the ITV network—I think I'm right in saying that. But ITV Wales do see opportunities to have their products going beyond Wales, in terms of joint funding with the main ITV channel, that is.
I'm told there's no prospect of competition for the licences in the foreseeable future, so we have 13 controlled by ITV and the two in Scotland are different. Should we really treat that much more as an England and Wales licence that should have obligations about production—for instance, quite firmly saying a certain amount of dispersal, and therefore a certain amount of activity should be undertaken in Wales? We take that approach with the BBC, why don't we take it with ITV?
I would love to see that. Because ITV Studios are like a massive independent company, and BBC Studios now—. The BBC and ITV are commissioning houses, fundamentally, apart from news and current affairs. But you've got these two broadcasters that are now global independent companies, not as big as—there are much bigger players in the marketplace, but ITV don't have the requirements and I think it's been a real positive for the sector.
I was at the BBC 15 years ago when we fought and fought to start to get a—[Inaudible.]—policy. It must be 15 years ago. And that's been a slow change and it's been incredibly beneficial. And then Channel 4 and it's relocation. ITV are not obliged, though they do say they're interested in stuff outside of London. I think Channel 5 are more easy to—who aren't a public service broadcaster, in that sense—but Channel 5 actually engage more with us in terms of commissioning and will commission more out of London than ITV do at the moment.
Beth fi'n credu maen nhw'n ofn ei golli'n fawr yw'r amlygrwydd yna sydd yn dod gyda'r EPG, y safle yna. Mae pobl yn gweld eu cynnyrch nhw, ac maen nhw'n gweld hwnna yn y byd. Os ŷch chi'n gallu dychmygu'r sgrîn ac rŷch chi'n gweld y llinellau llinol yna'n mynd, yn dweud beth sydd ymlaen nesaf ar yr amryw sianelau, a'r ffyrdd mwy cyfoes o werthu cynnyrch, lle jest y cynnyrch yw e—maen nhw mewn bocsys. Nid ydyn nhw'n meddwl fel yna, maen nhw'n meddwl am daflu nhw atoch chi— dewiswch, dewiswch, 'binge-wch', gwyliwch. Maen nhw'n poeni'n fawr, dwi'n credu, am golli'r amlygrwydd. Ac mae'r amlygrwydd yna law yn llaw gydag incwm masnachol hysbysebu gwerthfawr iawn, iawn iddyn nhw, achos bod pobl yn gwybod am y brand, a dyna le mae e, a dyna pryd mae e ymlaen, a dyna le ni'n targedu'n hysbysebu ni. Felly, i golli'r amlygrwydd yna sydd yn dod gyda'i statws nhw fel darlledwr cyhoeddus, dwi'n credu y byddai hwnna'n bryder iddyn nhw.
What I think they fear losing is that prominence on the EPG, so that people can view their productions prominently. And if you can imagine the screen and you see the linear lines saying what's on the various channels, and the more contemporary ways of selling a product, where it's simply production—they're in boxes. They don't think in a linear manner, they simply throw them at you and say 'Choose, binge, watch.' I think they're hugely concerned about losing that prominence. And that prominence goes hand in hand with the commercial income from advertising, which is very valuable to them, because they know that's the brand, we know when it's on, and that's where we'll target our advertising. So, if they lose that prominence that comes with their status as a public service broadcaster, that would be a concern to them.
Dyna pam, wrth gwrs, mae angen datganoli darlledu erbyn hyn, dwi'n meddwl, a sefydlu rhywbeth fel awdurdod darlledu i Gymru, er mwyn gallu rheoleiddio'r pethau yma yn well oddi mewn i Gymru, achos y deficit sydd yma'n benodol.
And that is why we need to devolve broadcasting now, of course, and establish something like an authority on broadcasting for Wales, in order to regulate these things better within Wales, because of the specific deficit we have here.
Diolch yn fawr.
Thank you very much.
Symudwn ymlaen at S4C—Carwyn Jones.
We'll move on to S4C and Carwyn Jones.
Dwi'n gwybod bod amser yn rhedeg mas gyda ni—
I know that time is running out—
Fe wnaethon ni gychwyn bach yn hwyr, so ni'n mynd i fynd ymlaen tamaid bach.
We did start quite late, so you can take that into consideration.
Okay. On the issue David raised of the England and Wales licence, my understanding is that, in fact, the only company that isn't part of ITV is STV. UTV is ITV, Border Television, which covers southern Scotland, is also ITV. So, you haven't just got an England and Wales licence, you've got part of Scotland and you've also got Northern Ireland, so it's a bit more complicated that it first appears.
Gaf i ofyn ynglŷn â chomisiynu mwy na ddim byd? Rŷn ni'n gwybod bod S4C wedi cael toriad yn ei chyllideb dros y blynyddoedd. Pa fath o effaith mae hwnna wedi'i chael ar gomisiynu o'ch safbwynt chi fel cwmnïau cynhyrchu? A hefyd, rŷn ni'n gwybod bod y byd wedi newid lot dros y 20 mlynedd diwethaf ynglŷn â'r heriau sydd yna ynglŷn â'r digidol a'r ffaith bod sut cymaint o bobl nawr yn gwylio rhaglenni ar catch-up; dŷn nhw ddim yn gwylio pethau yn fyw, heblaw am y newyddion a'r chwaraeon, fel roedd neithiwr yn dangos. So, beth yw'r heriau chi, ac ym mha ffordd mae'r tir wedi newid ynglŷn â pha fath o raglenni sy'n cael eu comisiynu nawr, efallai o gymharu â fel roedd pethau 20 mlynedd yn ôl, neu 10 mlynedd yn ôl?
May I ask about commissioning more than anything? We know that S4C has seen a reduction in their funding over the years. What kind of impact has that had on commissioning from your perspective as production companies? Also, we know that the world has changed a great deal over the past 20 years in terms of the challenges that there are in the digital sphere and the fact that so many people are now watching programmes on catch-up rather than watching them live, apart from the news and sport, as last night showed. So, what are the challenges for you, and in what way has the terrain shifted in terms of what types of programmes are commissioned now compared to 20 years ago, or 10 years ago?
Mae'r toriad yn y gyllideb wedi effeithio ar sawl lefel, dim jest cyllideb y rhaglen, ond hefyd faint o staff sydd yn gweithio ar raglen, felly mae yna fwy o bwysau ar y rhai sy'n gweithio yna. Mae gyda nhw lai o amser i weithio yn fanna, felly mae'r pwysau ar y rheini, ac mae yna ddewis i bobl sy'n gweithio yna fel gyrfa—mae pobl yn gadael oherwydd y pwysau yna. Wedyn, mae o'n effeithio ar le dŷch chi'n gallu teithio—felly, mae'n cyfyngu, ar adegau, lle rydych chi'n gallu mynd i ffilmio; mae'n rhaid bod yn eithaf pragmatig o ran lle rydych chi'n gallu mynd.
Felly, dyna ydy'r pethau ymarferol sy'n effeithio arnom ni fel cwmnïau ac ar unigolion sy'n gweithio yn y diwydiant yn y fan yna. Ond dwi'n meddwl bod S4C wedi bod yn ddeheuig iawn yn y ffordd maen nhw wedi bod yn comisiynu i gadw'r cyllidebau ar lefel lle mae'n bosibl gwneud y rhaglenni, a chystadlu yng Nghymru a thu hwnt.
The cut in budget has impacted on a number of levels, not just on the programming budget, but how many staff are working on programmes, so that there is more pressure on them. They have less time, and so people are leaving because of the pressure and don't choose that as a career. It does, then, limit where you can go to film, for example; you do have to be quite pragmatic as to where you go.
So, those are the practicalities that are impacting us as companies and the individuals working in the sector. But I think S4C has been very skilled in the way that they have commissioned to keep budgets at a level where it is possible to produce these programmes and to compete, in Wales and beyond.
I think S4C do an incredible job with the money they've got, but their targets have come down. I think 20 years ago we were in a linear world, and there was a loyalty to S4C—'We fought for this channel, we're going to watch these programmes.' And I think people consume media in a completely different way now, and content is everything. People will go to the content they want—Welsh, English, from Wales, whatever. The marketplace is far more competitive, and it's really not a particularly level playing field, I think, for S4C to compete on when their budgets are so much lower.
The companies do an amazing job with imaginative ways of using it, but you're still putting your content out there, not in the old-fashioned three-channel way, but into this hubbub, this babble of voices throwing stuff at you, which is, most of it, better funded et cetera. So, I think it's a real challenge for S4C and the companies making, because the targets have gone down in a marketplace that has become anarchic, almost, in terms of content, brands and the competition for people's views, habits et cetera. So, it is a really challenging time for S4C and the companies making for them.
Dwi'n meddwl bod pwysigrwydd S4C yn wleidyddol, ac o ran safbwynt diwylliant y wlad hefyd, yr un mor bwysig ag y mae wedi bod erioed, a dwi'n meddwl bod S4C yn gwneud gwaith gwych gyda'r arian sydd yna. Ond mae'r toriadau sylweddol sydd wedi bod yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf yn bendant yn cael effaith ar y rhaglenni mewn sawl ffordd, fel mae Llion newydd ddweud wrthym ni.
Beth sy'n bwysig i S4C yw bod cyllideb ddigonol. Dwi'n meddwl ein bod ni'n cyrraedd pwynt pan ŷn ni ar ffin lle mae'n bosibl iawn na fydd y gyllideb yn ddigonol. Mae tua—beth yw e—£6 miliwn o arian S4C yn parhau gyda'r Trysorlys yn Llundain. Does neb cweit yn siŵr a fydd hynna yn para am y blynyddoedd nesaf. Wedyn, wrth gwrs, mae arian gyda'r ffi drwydded. Fel y bydd y BBC yn wynebu heriau mawr yn y blynyddoedd nesaf—achos mi fyddan nhw, o safbwynt darlledu cyhoeddus—mae eisiau sicrhau nawr, dwi'n meddwl, fod yr arian sydd ar gael i S4C—ei fod e ar gael, ei fod e'n cynyddu, ac fe ddylai fe fod yn cynyddu gyda chwyddiant bob blwyddyn hefyd, neu mi fyddwn ni'n cyrraedd pwynt lle bydd hi bron yn amhosib i'r sianel gystadlu.
Dwi'n gwybod bod pobl yn dweud hefyd, o'r safbwynt digidol—ac mae S4C wedi gorfod ehangu sut cymaint o safbwynt yr amrywiaeth y maen nhw'n gwneud nawr, o gynnwys a theledu traddodiadol, os liciwch chi, ac ar ddigidol hefyd, ond mae'n rhaid i chi gael y cynnwys hwnnw, dwi'n meddwl, i allu cystadlu gyda'r darlledwyr mawr mewn ffordd o wylio traddodiadol hefyd. Allwch chi ddim dweud, 'O, wel, mae'n iaith leiafrifol—gall e fynd yn ddigidol', dwi'n meddwl buasai hynny'n ddechrau'r diwedd. Felly, pwysigrwydd cyllid i S4C a chyllid digonol, dwi'n meddwl, yw y cwestiwn pwysicaf.
I think that the importance of S4C politically and also in terms of the nation's culture is just as important as it has ever been, and I think that S4C does excellent work with the money available. But the substantial cuts that there have been in the past few years have definitely had an impact on the programmes, and in many ways, as Llion has just outlined for us.
What is important for S4C is that there is sufficient funding. I think we're reaching a point when we are on the border as to when the budget will not sufficient. There's about £6 million, I think it is, of S4C's funding that remains with the Treasury in London, and no-one is entirely sure whether that will continue for the next few years. Then, there's the funding from the licence fee, and as the BBC will be facing great challenges in the coming years—because they will, in terms of public service broadcasting—we need to ensure now that the funding that is available for S4C is available, that it increases, and it should be increasing with inflation on an annual basis, or we will reach a point where it will almost be impossible for the channel to compete.
I know that people also say, from a digital perspective—and S4C has had to expand so much in terms of the variety of what they provide now, with the content on traditional tv, if you like, and also on the digital platforms, but you also do need to have that type of content to be able to compete with the big players in terms of traditional viewing as well. You can't just say, 'Oh, it's a minority language—it could go digital', because I think that would be the beginning of the end. So, the importance of funding for S4C is the most central question.