Television access services report - first six months of 2023

23 October 2023

This report sets out the extent to which broadcast television channels carried subtitles, audio description and/or signing (collectively, “access services”) between January and June 2023.

Under the Communications Act 2003, broadcast television channels are required to make a certain proportion of their programmes accessible. The Code on Television Access Services sets out these obligations.

The annual quotas are calculated on a calendar year basis, and we expect all channels to have fulfilled these quotas by the end of the year.

Ofcom is pleased to see an increasing number of channels now providing subtitling on virtually all their programming (in excess of 98%) between January and June 2023. For 2023 this was 53 channels, compared to 40 in the same period last year.

Domestic channels with an audience share of between 0.05% and 1% have the option either to broadcast 75 minutes of sign-presented programming each month or to participate in Ofcom-approved alternative arrangements which contribute to the availability of sign-presented programming.

Where "BSLBT Contribution" is shown in the report, this indicates that the broadcaster contributed to the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT), which commissions sign-presented programming and is broadcast on the channels Film4 and Together.

Where “Exempt” is marked in the report, this indicates that these channels are exempt from providing audio description. This is due to the nature of the content broadcast on these services meaning there is little space within the audio material to provide audio description.

As in last year’s mid-year report, we will not be reporting on accessibility of on-demand programme services (“ODPS”) at this time and will be publishing data for the full year 2023 in Spring 2024.

Interactive report

We have provided this report in an interactive format so that you can compare the accessibility of broadcast and on-demand services across a variety of platforms.

For the best experience, expand to full screen (click on the button in the bottom right corner).

The full data set is also available to download in CSV format.

If you have accessibility requirements which are not met by these publications, and would like to request this information in a different format, you can email or call our Advisory Team from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 17:00 on 020 7981 3040 or 0300 123 3333.

If you are deaf or speech-impaired, you can use our textphone numbers, which are 020 7981 3043 or 0300 123 2024.