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S4C’s HD channel Clirlun to close at the end of 2012

Cash-strapped and loss-making Welsh TV service S4C is to axe its high definition TV channel at the end of this year.

S4C logoCalled Clirlun, the channel is available in Wales on Freeview HD, and nationally via Freesat and Sky.

Clirlun costs S4C about £1.5m a year to run, which is a problem since the broadcaster lost £6.1million in 2011 and will lose more than a third of its budget next year.

Ian Jones, S4C’s Chief Executive, said, “The decision comes in the wake of the considerable reduction in our public funding. There’s no way of avoiding such a decision made inevitable because of the 36 per cent reduction in our budget in real terms.

“It’s important we invest the greatest proportion of our budget in content in order to ensure value for money and in order to offer the best programme service to our viewers.

“We hope to be able to consider different options for using HD on several digital platforms in the future.”

S4C will be largely funded by the BBC from 2013 through the TV Licence, with a small contribution from the DCMS, and like the BBC must work with an income that will shrink in real terms.

S4C has had its public funding cut from £101.6m in 2010 to £83m in 2012 as part of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.  

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