S4C to seek review of BBC decision

Welsh-language broadcaster S4C is to seek a judicial review of the UK government’s decision to pass responsibility for financing the service to the BBC.

S4C Authority chairman John Walter Jones was reported as saying he had not been given prior knowledge of the talks between the BBC and culture secretary Jeremy Hunt that saw the former take on responsibility for S4C’s finance in a compromise deal that narrowly saw the BBC escape having to take on the burden of paying for free TV licences for people over 75 years of age.

Jones said the move would give the BBC effective control over S4C, which could have a disastrous effect of Welsh-language programming, which the BBC had already begun cutting.

Separately, it has been reported that the BBC Trust, the corporation’s governing body, is to be retained as part of the settlement hammered out with the government. According to the Guardian newspaper, the BBC Trust will retain the ability to conduct its own strategic reviews of the corporation, while no new financial burdens will be placed on the corporation before its Charter renewal in 2017.

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