Content 2023–24

Programme Policy Statement 2023–24

S4C’s Chief Content Officer, Llinos Griffin-Williams, outlines S4C’s content priorities for the coming year.

S4C is transforming

S4C is stepping into its 40s with confidence, passion and ambition as we create bold and powerful content that represents contemporary Wales.

Providing a voice for communities across Wales and beyond, we will reflect a diverse nation with comprehensive and popular content that welcomes new and existing Welsh speakers – inspiring people to hear, see and speak Welsh in Wales, the UK and beyond.

A lively, exciting offer will entertain our loyal viewers and engage with a new audience by providing a Welsh perspective on the world. We have a clear strategy to appeal to viewers in the 25–44 age group and the C2DE socio-economic group, which guides content commissioning decisions for 2023–24, as well as forward planning for content in 2024–25.

S4C will also be a creative, engaging partner for co-productions as S4C aims to attract younger and wider audiences.

Above all, we will target one of three purposes with content that:

• Educates;
• Inspires; and
• Offers escapism.

Recognising that our viewers face various challenges in their lives, as a public service broadcaster we will extend refuge and support through our content.

We will therefore create opportunities for our viewers – of whatever age – to understand more about the world around us – from living costs to climate change. We’ll give a voice to inspiring stories and characters as we reach different communities, unique lives and locations. And we’ll offer some escapism with exciting, innovative, ambitious and new content across our platforms.

While the linear channel will cater for all, our various platforms – offering opportunities to view S4C content on TV, on-line, on demand, and many others – will be available at any time and cater for different audiences.


Create talked-about content

As we realise a content strategy that focuses on the audience in the 25–44 age group, new commissions are beginning to see success – such as Gogglebocs Cymru which tripled the numbers watching through the catch-up platforms on a weekly basis since the launch of the first series this year.

We are therefore looking for well-known brands that can add to our entertainment provision, but offer a Welsh personality. In addition, we are investing significantly in the development of original new formats that appeal to the whole family.

The channel’s well-known brands will continue, but with an emphasis on targeting a new audience. We therefore look forward to welcoming back Am Dro, Gwesty Aduniad, Priodas Pum Mil, Jonathan and Sgwrs Dan y Lloer over the coming months.

In response to the expectations of our target audience, we will be launching a number of new non-script formats that push the creative boundaries. As part of this, we will analyse topics through a different lens and challenge prejudices, as we increase the emphasis on commissions reflecting the diversity of Wales: from Colli Cymru i’r Môr that investigates the impact of climate change on Wales, to Saith Person which sees individuals revisiting those who have influenced their lives.

Ni yw’r Cymry will reflect what it is to be Welsh today, and in Arwyr Anabl (working title) we will be looking at the history of disability in Wales. These series offer us the opportunity to invest in exciting new talent and seek ways of developing well-known talent. This will build on Stori’r Iaith, a highly successful and noisy series led by Alex Jones, Ellis James, Sean Fletcher and Lisa Jên, while also giving us an opportunity to see new talent and voices in the series.

Our provision of noisy premium content will see investment with stunning short series Gwir-Drosedd telling amazing stories as we push creative boundaries with the history of Y Twyllwr, Llofruddiaeth Niwclear, and Hoover: Lle ma’ fy ngwyliau?

Substantial commissions of popular series Y Llinell Las and Y Fets will give a different flavour of life in communities across Wales.

Also among the broad slate will be new provocative series such as Y Prif and Gwasanaeth Prawf, that will provide special access to public services.

Offering the audience an opportunity to escape their daily lives will be new series following well-known faces. Former Wales player Mike Phillips will follow Welsh people overseas in Croeso i Dubai; while Beti George and Huw Stephens will be visiting unique hotels in luxury series Cysgu o Gwmpas.

We look forward to a second series of Bywyd a Bwyd with Colleen Ramsey; Chris, Al and Kiri will be travelling across New Zealand on an adventure; and a range of interesting factual series and documentaries will support the Rugby World Cup provision in the Autumn.

New voices

Following the success of documentaries like Drych: Fi, Rhyw ac Anabledd and Ysgol Ni: Moelwyn there will be an opportunity to reflect contemporary Wales in our documentary provision. We are looking for bold, challenging and emotional stories that push the discussion forward and give a different perspective on life.

We are keen to reflect more voices from the valleys and north-east Wales with programmes such as Wrecsam: Clwb Ni which looks at the history of the football club with Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.

Also, unique documentaries with familiar faces will provide an opportunity to meet unique characters with programmes on Alex: Epilepsi a Fi; and Sage Todz: Brodyr Brodorol.

Building on digital-first commissions, Byw y Freuddwyd will be a YouTube commission following a couple who have sold everything to fulfil their dream of living without a mortgage in west Wales. Two linear programmes will form part of 12 x 15’ YouTube programmes.



HANSH: Creating trouble (in a good way!)

A platform for young Welsh voices and talent, Hansh will become prominent across S4C platforms from TikTok to Instagram, YouTube to Clic and the iPlayer.

Hansh has continued to grow in terms of viewers and followers month on month since its launch, and there will be further investment in S4C’s digital offer for the young.

Hansh’s campaign will take the brand’s mischievous content beyond its loyal viewers, as we build our coverage of multi-genre mid- and long-form provision on the platform.

The new series Mwy na Daffs a Taffs will launch on Clic and iPlayer, following some of Britain’s biggest influencers and trying to dispel their prejudices about Wales. In addition, the challenging love series Tishio Fforc? returns.

Home of Welsh sports

We saw the incredible success of the Cartref Pêl-droed Cymru campaign in autumn 2022 as we released a bumper slate of special content that supported the World Cup campaign. In the middle of a historic era for the national team, S4C saw the best reach ever across our digital platforms, breaking every record for the platforms with our bold content.

From children’s provision with the Jambori where more than 200,000 children in Wales sang in unity (and half of those in second-language schools) to documentary programmes Yma o Hyd and Cewri Cwpan y Byd, from Cyngerdd Efrog Newydd to Gemau Byw, S4C’s content appealed around the world with millions of on-line viewing sessions, and succeeded in doubling the number of viewers compared to the previous Euro games.

We will launch the Cartref Chwaraeon Cymru campaign during 2023–24 to coincide with the Six Nations rugby contest, and the Rugby World Cup in France. This will respond to the passion of the nation with content such as a special documentary on Ken Owens as well as a new format O’r Soffa i’r Sgrym with Robin McBryde and his son who will be following a group of young lads from north-east Wales and the valleys coming together to play a game in France. Also, there will be two Jonathan programmes live from France.

In terms of our provision to coincide with the Rugby World Cup, we will be at the heart of the excitement in France, with Jason Mohammad, Sarra Elgan and Mike Phillips as the faces of our campaign.


From script to screen

This year we will launch the Sinema Cymru fund in partnership with Creative Wales and Ffilm Cymru, with the aim of investing in one film per year and developing exciting scripts with Welsh talent.

Y Sŵn will lead the way into cinemas across Wales, telling the story of the establishment of S4C, before the film is broadcast on the linear service. Then a horror film Gwledd – which has already been on Hulu and in cinemas – will be shown on S4C on Halloween Night.

Following the success of our first joint-production with Channel 4, Y Golau, there is a strong slate of drama this year with Rownd a Rownd continuing to grow its audience, and Pobol y Cwm celebrating its 50th birthday in 2024.

We will be launching the comedy drama series Anfamol, which is an adaptation of a popular theatre show, as well as Creisis following a young man in Pontypridd who is dealing with a crisis in his personal life and at work.

There will also be a joint-production of Pren ar y Bryn with BBC Cymru; as well as a spin-off series from the soap opera Rownd a Rownd – Bariau; and a second series of the popular drama Stad.

We continue to invest significantly in our dramas. 12 scripts / ideas were awarded development funding to foster new production and writing talent with companies Ie Ie Productions, Fiction Factory, Three Tables, BBC Studios and Boom Cymru. Furthermore, Severn Screen is committed to producing a drama each year for S4C for the next three years with the Welsh talent who is working extensively with Netflix these days, Gareth Evans.

We are also continuing to call for new ideas as we launch our Interactive Drama co-production with the Wales Interactive gaming company.

And our dramas continue to sell internationally, as Britbox buys Yr Amgueddfa, and Netflix offers Dal y Mellt.


Home of Wales live events – LWP

We will be revamping our live events provision. A range of content will be provided around Y Sioe Fawr as we extend the content across entertainment, food and competition, and stream elements across our platforms. Eisteddfod yr Urdd and the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol will also be streamed through our players.

With S4C sponsoring the PRIDE Cymru Welsh language stage, a lot of LGBTQ+ content will be part of our provision throughout the year, with coverage increasing further during the celebrations.

We will also be pushing our LWP brand as the home of contemporary Welsh music. As a result, we will take a leading role in events including Tafwyl, Green Man, and the Eisteddfod, while also developing the content of Curadur, Uchafbwyntiau’r Haf, LWP Sessions and LWP Music Videos. This will be a further significant investment for the Welsh music scene and will further develop new musical talent.


Welsh for all

With new appointments within the Content and Publishing team, the Welsh Language Strategy Lead and Education Content Executive will be assisting us to launch the Welsh for All campaign, which will welcome new speakers and learners to engage us through our content.

At the same time, we will look at how we can deliver content more effectively within the education sector, targeting mixed households, second-language parents, schools, colleges and universities.