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S4C is the only fully Welsh language TV network broadcast across the UK and had a long and troubled history before finally beginning to transmit programs across Wales in 1982. The channel is aimed at Welsh speakers and was originally planned for launch in the 1970s. The Conservative government of the UK decided against beginning transmissions at that time and faced large scale civil disobedience in Wales because of the decision. Originally broadcasting on an analogue signal for the principality of Wales, the station switched to a digital signal in the early years of the 21st century.

S4C commissions programs and is not a producer in its own right, but does license and distribute programs under its banner. A number of highly influential and popular children's programs were created for S4C in Welsh before being dubbed into English for a wider release. One of the most popular is Fireman Sam, which is broadcast under its Welsh title of Sam Tan, along with the animated series SuperTed. The channel also produces a number of adult themed programs, including the long running drama Pobol y Cwm and a number of popular documentaries and news broadcasts. Because of the Welsh themed nature of the channel a large number of independent productions also make their way to the channel because of their Welsh subject matter and language choices, including the documentary Separado!