Thursday, 11 February 2010

Gibson calls on BBC Alba to be shown on Freeview

News release
Immediate release

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has highlighted the role that BBC Alba plays in supporting rural fragile economies.

Mr Gibson was speaking during a Scottish Government's debate on making the Gaelic channel available on Freeview.

A longstanding supporter of Gaelic language and culture, as well as a Gaelic learner Rob said that the sooner the channel was available on Freeview the better.

He pointed out that the added economic benefits of the channel example was mentioned at last summer's Sutherland Summit. It was reported that German tourists had visited the area after watching BBC Alba. They said they wanted to see the land where the language was spoken.

He also added that BBC Alba is more than a channel saying that it is a medium which conveyed the culture and life of the place. He said that the channel also broke the mould of central broadcasting by having is major centers for broadcast which were situated throughout the Gaeltacht and the strong contribution that it plays in the lives and profile of the area it's people and language.

Speaking after he said…

"The quality of programming on BBC Alba regularly beats that of anything else on TV. It is testament to that quality that the channel which is not available on Freeview has attracted high numbers of viewers. The BBC Trust must act as quickly as it can and make BBC Alba available on Freeview so that more people have a chance to watch it."

"It is obvious from such events as the Sutherland Summit that Gaelic plays a vital role in the make up of many parts of the Highlands and Islands. BBC Alba can accentuate interest in the language and culture as well as bringing it to a wider audience which in turn stimulates interest in the heartland of the language for the benefit for those that live and work there."


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