BBC Gaelic channel to stress lower-league football

Lower-league football matches and other low-profile sports coverage will be key to luring a new audience to the BBC’s new Gaelic service, according to the channel’s head of content, Alan Esslemont.

The channel, which was approved last week, has yet to be named. It will be broadcast on cable, satellite and broadband — but not on Freeview.

It will provide BBC News from Inverness and will also have a studio in Stornoway, Esslemont tells the Sunday Herald today.

Critics say the small number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland makes the cost of the service disproportionally high. Just under half the cost of the digital service’s £20.8 million annual cost will from come the Scottish government while £10.7m will come from the BBC.

That figure comprising £3.5m for the new channel, and £7.2m for exsting Gaelic programming on television and radio.

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