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Revamped laws to be debated in the UK Parliament are to grant Gaelic speakers easier access to their favourite TV shows.

The Media Bill, which is having its second reading today (Tuesday November 21), will introduce simpler and more flexible rules for the TV programmes which public service broadcasters (PSBs) are required to show.

Amongst the 180-page bill's proposals is having regional and minority language content included within the range of programmes PSBs can offer to meet their broadcasting obligations. 

Meanwhile new prominence rules for online PSB content will require Gaelic and Welsh apps and programmes from the likes of the BBC and Welsh broadcaster S4C to be made available and easy to find on smart TVs, streaming sticks, and set-top boxes. 

UK Government Minister for Scotland, John Lamont, said: "The Gaelic language remains an enormously important part of Scottish cultural life which should be nurtured and cherished. Gaelic language TV provides an important service to Gaelic speakers throughout Scotland and the UK Government's Media Bill will ensure people have better access to their favourite shows in this streaming age." 

UK Media Minister Sir John Whittingdale said: “Broadcasters like the BBC and S4C help keep our precious indigenous languages alive, providing speakers with superb programmes in a tongue that is familiar to them. We want to ensure this content is widely available and easy to find, no matter where you tune in.

“Our Media Bill will boost protections for the UK’s cultural heritage by offering audiences greater choice in how they can watch their favourite Welsh and Gaelic language shows, and enshrine the importance of these languages in broadcasting law for the first time.”