Scotland's Gaelic broadcaster is to broaden its horizons to international TV and productions, and increase its appeal to young viewers.

MG Alba, which with the BBC runs BBC Alba, publishes its annual report today, which is expected to show that Gaelic broadcasting contributes £23m to the creative industries.

The company is now to re-emphasise its international credentials, encouraging production companies to work with foreign companies to make programmes that can be shown at home and abroad.

The station is also preparing to argue its case for its role with the BBC as the broadcasting corporation negotiates a new Charter by 2017.

As part of its programme for the year, it is also to film fifteen more episodes of Bannan, its 'long form drama', to add to its three episode pilot.

The new episodes are being shot on Skye, Glasgow and also Paris and the station hopes to sell the package of episodes to foreign channels.

The annual report is expected to say that the three elements of MG Alba - not only BBC Alba but LearnGaelic and Film G appear to be performing "strongly".

Audience figures for BBC Alba average at around 700,000 a week, a figure which they say has "far exceeded expectations."

The channel has a reach of 73% with Gaelic speakers, and 16% across the whole of Scotland, a slight fall from the previous year's 17%.

More viewers are watching the channel through the BBC iPlayer, with 7m viewings on that platform.

However Donald Campbell, the chief executive of MG Alba, said the station is looking more and more at the international impact of the programmes they commission.

He said: "One of the things we are doing with the companies with which we have in long-term deals is saying: 'here is some money that is up for grabs if you can find another broadcaster to match it.'

"The aim of that is not to save money but it is to drive the idea that: 'this programme is going to be damn good for BBC Alba, but also will be good for RTE (in Ireland), NRK (Norway), or Denmark Radio or whoever', so that it has legs with other people, because not enough of that has been happening.

"We have an internationalisation agenda, we are prepared to green light projects that are 30 or 40% funded and say 'if you are able to get this away with European or Danish money, we are in' - and that is such a novelty in this country to do that.

"We don't have the scale to make a huge difference, but we have the opportunity is to start to make a difference in the wider sector. It will only affect 10 to 12 hours of our programming a year, but its the right direction to travel.

"We do not want BBC to be hermetically sealed, we want our producers working with other broadcasters."

MG Alba recently consulted Gaelic viewers and the results of the consultation showed that the channel needs to appeal to younger people better.

The first episode of Bannan was watched by 62% of the sixteen or older Gaelic audience.

However the company wants to find more to appeal to the 12-35 year old demographic.

Campbell said: "We know from existing research that under 45s are currently under-served by BBc Alba and the young demographics watch less BBC Alba and also, in general, watch less TV.

"The greater involvement of younger people both in Gaelic media and Gaelic learning will be crucially important in the years to come."

The consultation alos showed a desire from the core Gaelic audience to do more programmes about Gaelic culture.

Maggie Cunningham, chair of MG Alba, said: "We continue to encourage the utmost care to Gaelic content in each and every programme.

"We are at one with the audience on this subject and we expect to make significant progress in the year to come."

In 2014/15 £11.6m of MG Alba programming was broadcast, compared to £10.3m the previous year.