YouView has added S4C to its expanding catch-up library.
The on-demand service for the Welsh language channel lets viewers watch programmes for up to 35 days after the original broadcast and sits alongside existing catch-up services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5.
YouView customers in Wales can already watch live S4C programmes on channel 4 (Channel 4 is available on channel 8 in Wales), but the S4C catch-up service will bring content to all regions of the UK.
S4C Chief Executive Ian Jones said: “Launching S4C on the YouView platform is a significant step which will place S4C shoulder to shoulder with the UK’s other main channels. Our aim is to expand the methods of watching S4C making it easier than ever for people to watch our excellent programming.
“We know that viewing habits have changed and are continuing to evolve, and the challenge for us is to respond and remain at the forefront of these changes, by listening to our viewers.”
In 2012, the publicly-funded S4C was forced to drop its HD channel Clirlun, which was effectively replaced by Channel 4 HD on Freeview in Wales. At the time, Jones spoke of plans to consider different options to deliver HD content to Welsh viewers.
S4C, like BBC iPlayer and 4oD, needs a broadband connection in order to deliver catch-up content on YouView. Once superfast broadband really starts to reach communities across the country thanks to Superfast Cymru and other BDUK plans, the spirit of Clirlun could be reborn through S4C on demand.
Update: S4C’s chief technical officer, Steve Cowin said: “On YouView’s on demand service we have been able to increase the bit-rate of S4C content to to 1.8Mbps. We’re confident that this delivers a significant improvement in the viewer experience. With regard to an HD service by S4C, we have been clear that we would hope to look at this provision again in future depending on the financial implications for the channel.”