Here at Business News Wales, we are huge advocates of the Welsh language, eager to showcase the businesses and organisations flying the flag for Wales’ native lounge. This week, we were thrilled to hear the news of the BBC’s latest venture, launching BBC Radio Cymru 2 in January of 2018.
Established in 1977, BBC Radio Cyrmu boasts a weekly listenership of 119,000, with this second service signalling a boost to its radio coverage across Wales. Applauded by various Welsh language campaigners, BBC Radio Cymru 2 will be accessible on digital radio, online, BBC iPlayer Radio as well as TV; available on weekday mornings between 7am and 10am.
But, how will it differ from the flagship channel? According to its Editor, Betsan Powys, the station will “celebrate the fact that our audiences like and listen to different things”, being the first “fun-filled, music-based” show to be delivered in Welsh. Centred on diversity, many felt that BBC Radio Cyrmu couldn’t succeed in being all things to all people, with the introduction of its sister channel aiming to address this.
Responding to requests for varied digital content in Welsh, BBC Wales’ availability on the FM band will also be extended to an estimated 330,000 people, increasing its nationwide FM coverage in Wales from 79% to a respectable 91%.
Benefiting listeners in North East Wales and Mid Wales in particular, the development will bring Radio Wales’ FM coverage in line with other national and network radio stations, accessible to listeners across the country.
Betsan Powys, editor at BBC Radio Cymru said:
“This is a truly historic announcement – one of the most important since Radio Cymru was established in 1977. Our listeners are some of the most loyal in Wales and the fact that we can now offer a choice of listening is incredibly exciting.”
BBC Wales has also announced plans to expand its English language television programming following a £8.5m investment. This will result in an additional 2-3 hours of programming every week across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC iPlayer by 2019.
Colin Paterson, BBC Radio Wales editor, is equally excited by this new venture:
“These are unprecedented times of change for Wales, and I’m delighted that this major expansion for Radio Wales on FM will ensure listeners in every part of Wales can enjoy access to our wide-ranging news, sport and entertainment programming, as well as our superb team of presenters.”