Tuesday, 24 May 2011



The SNP has today welcomed the news that a date has been set for BBC Alba to be made available to Freeview viewers in Scotland. Previously BBC Alba was only available via Sky or FreeSat, meaning that the majority of Gaelic speaking Scots were unable to tune in.
Now, from the 8th June, viewers will be able to access the channel on Freeview. The channel is also set to be rolled out on Virgin Media.

The move was welcomed by the Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan and MP Angus MacNeil.

Commenting Mr Allan said:

“I am delighted that after much campaigning the BBC Trust has decided to allow BBC Alba on Freeview, where it will be going live in only a few weeks. I know that the channel also became available on Cable last week. 

“This is a major step forward for both the channel and the Gaelic language. Every person in Scotland should soon have access to this excellent and important channel.
“It is a recognition of the achievements and the quality of BBC Alba in appealing to both Gaelic and non-Gaelic speakers that the decision has been taken to expand the channel in such a way.

“This is just one step on a long road to building a viable future for the Gaelic language, but it is a hugely important one. I look forward to the benefits that such an increase in TV exposure will bring for BBC Alba and Gaelic and wish the channel every success for the future.”

Mr MacNeil added:

“After many years of campaigning at Westminster and calling on the BBC Trust’s representative in Scotland, Jeremy Peat, to get this done, I am delighted that a date has finally been set.

“I have been pushing this for many years, finally BBC Alba can be now be viewed on Freeview.

“At last, everyone will now have access to view the fantastic BBC Alba, this is a tremendous step forward for the Gaelic language and an indication of the success of the channel since its launch in September 2008.” 

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