Thursday, October 21
BroadcastingArwel Elis Owen, chief executive of S4C, has said that a decision to hand financial responsibility for the Welsh-language channel to the BBC is the "wrong model".
Speaking on the BBC's Good Morning Wales programme, Owen said there are fears that the channel will lose its independence and identity after the change.
He added: "Some people feel in three years' time S4C will be called BBC Cymru."
The decision for the corporation to "make a contribution" to the annual budget of S4C was confirmed yesterday in chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review.
S4C responded by confirming plans to launch a judicial review of the move, despite the government arguing that it could work similarly to BBC Alba - the BBC's Gaelic service in Scotland.
Owen said that managing the channel in such a way represented "a real threat", as it was "a totally different model for providing a service in Welsh".
Osborne also confirmed that S4C's budget would be cut by 24% by 2015. However, that was a considerably more favourable settlement compared to the level of cuts previously mooted by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.
"At least we have four years of a guaranteed income and that is a huge increase on what the minister talked about when we met him about a month ago when he was talking about a one year guarantee of income," said Owen.
"We are fortunate that we have ended up at 24% because when I met the minister he was talking about 40%, so that is a great success."
BBC Wales director Menna Richards told BBC News that the "overriding priority" was to "ensure that Welsh-language audiences continue to enjoy a high quality and distinctive television service".
She added: "The BBC is also well aware that the contribution of the independent sector has been central to S4C's development as a channel.
"We have confirmed to UK ministers our intention that the BBC's increased investment in programming on S4C should be spent with these external suppliers."
Culture minister Ed Vaizey stated his belief that people would eventually understand that the deal gives S4C "a fantastic future", largely because it can cut administration costs and share in the BBC's "expertise".
Also in yesterday's landmark settlement, the BBC agreed to have its licence fee frozen for six years and assume funding responsibility for the BBC World Service and BBC Monitoring
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