BBC ALBA, the Gaelic television channel, has today (Thursday 20 October) announced its most recent viewing figures.
The figures have been compiled over a four month period since the channel was made available on Freeview and Virgin Media’s Cable at the start of June this year.
During this period (June to September 2011), BBC ALBA has attracted a significant number of new viewers averaging a total claimed weekly reach of 12.9% of adults aged 16 and over, equating to 530,000 viewers.
The claimed fifteen minute plus reach for the channel over the same four month period was 10.6% which equates to 430,000 viewers per week.
In addition, the average time viewers spent watching BBC ALBA per week was 1 hour 40 minutes.
Prior to the channel being made available on Freeview, the total weekly reach for the channel was 220,000 viewers with the weekly fifteen minute plus reach being 179,000 viewers.
This figure is for those tuning into the channel in Scotland only and does not take account of anyone in the rest of the UK who may be viewing programmes on BBC ALBA. It also does not include the under-16 age group who may watch the schedule of children’s programming on offer.
Furthermore, a watch-again facility provides 10 hours of BBC ALBA content on the BBC iPlayer each week. Latest figures available, covering the period January to September 2011, found that there was an average of 29,000 requests per week for BBC ALBA content on iPlayer.
Channel executives have attributed the increase in viewing figures to the distinctive and high quality range of programmes offered, as well as the increased accessibility for viewers.