Television Access Services: Report for the first six months of 2014

05 November 2014

The first bi-annual report for 2014 on the provision of access services (subtitling, signing and audio description) by broadcasters under the Code on Television Access Services shows the cumulative position from January to June 2014. An explanation of the obligations applying to broadcasters is given in the Code on Television Access Services and is available on the Ofcom website.

With regards domestic broadcasters, many channels are continuing to comfortably exceed their requirements. In cases where broadcasters are not meeting their requirements, Ofcom will expect them to have met their obligations by the end of the year. In this connection, Nickelodeon has assured Ofcom that it will make up the shortfalls of subtitling and audio description across its services. This follows an under-provision in 2013 which resulted in the broadcaster being required to provide an additional 0.5% audio description on the Nickelodeon service.

As noted in previous reports, some broadcasters have voluntarily committed to increasing audio described content to 20% on a number of channels. Following a series of increments over recent years, the BBC is now reporting at least 20% audio description provision on its six services required to provide this service.

Channels with an audience share of between 0.05% and 1% have the option to broadcast either 30 minutes of sign-presented programming each month or to participate in Ofcom-approved alternative arrangements that contribute to the availability of sign-presented programming. Where "Alt" is shown against a channel, this indicates that the broadcaster is contributing to the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT), which commissions sign-presented programming which is broadcast on the Community Channel and Film 4.

2014 marks the first year that non-domestic channels licensed by Ofcom have been required to provide access services and the majority of these broadcasts have comfortably met their obligation. However, a small number of broadcasters did report technical difficulties that have delayed the roll out of access services to their channels resulting in them reporting an under-provision for the first six months of 2014. Ofcom expects these broadcasters to have fulfilled their obligations by the end of the year.

In lieu of the signing arrangements set out in the Code, all non-domestic broadcasters elected to provide an additional 5% of content with subtitles. 2014 marks the first year of a two year transitional period during which Ofcom is seeking the views of stakeholders, including sign language users and broadcasters, on what arrangements would be most beneficial to sign language users. Ofcom will be setting out its long-term position regarding signing provision by non-domestic broadcasters during 2015.

We expect to publish the next report in March 2015, providing the data from the second half of 2014.

SubtitlingAudio DescriptionSigning
ChannelAnnual QuotaAchieved (2014 Q1-2)Annual QuotaAchieved (2014 Q1-2)Annual QuotaAchieved (2014 Q1-2)
Level 1      
BBC1100%99.7% 10%20.7%5%5.8%
BBC 2100%99.9% 10%22.0%5%5.4%
BBC3100%100.0% 10%32.1%5%5.7%
BBC4100%100.0% 10%30.9%5%5.8%
BBC News100%100.0% ExemptExempt5%5.7%
CBBC100%99.9% 10%26.3% 5%5.7%
CBeebies100%100.0% 10%22.9% 5%5.4%
ITV190%97.9% 10%21.4% 5%8.2%
ITV280%98.0% 10%25.8% 5%6.2%
ITV372%96.5% 10%38.3% 4%4.3%
ITV470%82.1% 10%23.9% 4%4.1%
CITV70%82.8% 10%22.8% 30 mins sign presented30 mins sign presented
Channel 490%100.0% 10%29.5% 5%5.3%
E480%100.0% 10%53.4% 5%6.0%
Film 470%99.7% 10%26.9% AltAlt
More 470%100.0% 10%31.5% AltAlt
4Seven10%99.9% 4%23.4% 30 mins sign presented30 mins sign presented
4 Music80%93.5% ExemptExemptAltAlt
Channel 580%80.6% 10%9.9% 5%9.4%
5*70%78.5% 10%16.1% AltAlt
5 USA70%73.7% 10%18.2% AltAlt
Challenge80%83.6% 10%23.1% AltAlt
Pick TV70%80.6% 10%22.2% AltAlt
Sky Arts 170%84.7% 10%13.6% AltAlt
Sky Atlantic31%82.9% 6%31.6% AltAlt
Sky Living80%85.4% 10%32.9% AltAlt
Sky Livingit80%85.9% 10%33.2% AltAlt
Sky Movies Action80%91.6% 10%33.0% AltAlt
Sky Movies Comedy80%86.9% 10%27.0% AltAlt
Sky Movies Drama Romance80%89.8% 10%25.7% AltAlt
Sky Movies Family80%89.2% 10%28.7% AltAlt
Sky Movies Modern Greats80%88.4% 10%25.6% AltAlt
Sky Movies Premiere80%88.4% 10%33.3% AltAlt
Sky Movies Sci-fi/Horror80%89.8% 10%32.7% AltAlt
Sky Movies Showcase70%91.3% 10%41.7% AltAlt
Sky Movies Thriller70%89.6% 10%26.7% AltAlt
Sky News80%84.4% ExemptExemptAltAlt
Sky One80%79.7% 10%28.7% AltAlt
Sky Sports 180%81.9% 10%15.6% AltAlt
Sky Sports 280%81.6% 10%16.2% AltAlt
Sky Sports 380%81.9% 10%18.7% AltAlt
Sky Sports 480%81.1% 10%13.1% AltAlt
Sky Sports F110%42.8% 4%4.6% AltAlt
Sky Sports News80%85.7% ExemptExemptAltAlt
Sky Two80%85.5% 10%29.7%AltAlt
MTV One80%81.2% 10%14.2%AltAlt
Viva80%72.7% ExemptExemptAltAlt
Comedy Central 80%81.3% 10%23.5% AltAlt
Nickelodeon 80%83.2% 10.5%3.7% AltAlt
Disney Channel80%90.5% 10%17.4% AltAlt
Disney Junior80%90.4% 10%34.6% AltAlt
Disney XD80%81.0% 10%26.3% AltAlt
Dave80%85.7% 10%37.1% AltAlt
Watch60%69.8% 9%27.9% AltAlt
Yesterday80%85.4% 10%22.7% AltAlt
Alibi80%92.6% 10%43.1% AltAlt
Good Food80%84.7% 10%24.6% AltAlt
Home80%83.7% 10%30.2% AltAlt
GOLD80%81.8% 10%34.2% AltAlt
Eden80%83.5% 10%32.7% AltAlt
Really52%73.1% 9%17.9% AltAlt
Discovery80%83.5% 10%10.6% AltAlt
Universal80%79.2% 10%15.1% AltAlt
ESPN 47.5%68.6% 9%12.2% AltAlt
Level 2      
S4C53%77.4% 10%10.1% 5%6.2%
Comedy Central Extra53%65.3% 10%14.6% AltAlt
Quest26%26.9% 8%8.6% AltAlt
FX53%75.1% 10%20.7% AltAlt
Level 3      
Nick Jr26%20.4% 10%5.1% AltAlt
Nick Jr 223%21.1% 10%13.8% AltAlt
Nicktoons26%63.7% 10%8.3% AltAlt
Animal Planet26%27.4% 10%12.2% AltAlt
SubtitlingAudio DescriptionSigning
ChannelAnnual QuotaAchieved (2014 Q1-2)Annual QuotaAchieved (2014 Q1-2)Annual QuotaAchieved (2014 Q1-2)
Level 1      
The Discovery Channel15%100.0% 2%2.6% Alt1Alt1
The Disney Channel15%7.5% 2%3.1% AltAlt
Kanal 415%60.6% 2%2.5% AltAlt
Kanal 515%64.6% 2%3.3% AltAlt
TV315%69.5% 2%0.0% AltAlt
TV3 Plus15%96.6% 2%0.0% AltAlt
The Discovery Channel15%15.3% 2%2.4% AltAlt
Disney Cinemagic15%13.8% 2%0.0% AltAlt
Cartoon Network15%15.6% 2%5.2% AltAlt
The Discovery Channel15%14.6% 2%2.7% AltAlt
Republic of Ireland       
BBC115%99.7% 2%20.7% AltAlt
BBC215%99.9% 2%22.0% AltAlt
Sky Living15%85.4% 2%32.9% AltAlt
Sky One15%79.7% 2%28.7% AltAlt
Channel 415%100.0% 2%29.5% AltAlt
AXN15%0.0% Technical Exemption2Technical Exemption2AltAlt
AXN Sci-fi15%0.0% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
The Discovery Channel15%15.7% 2%2.2% AltAlt
The Discovery Channel15%100.0% 2%2.2% AltAlt
Animal Planet15%15.1% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
AXN Crime15%10.1%Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
AXN Polska15%25.0% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
AXN Sci-fi15%10.1% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
Cartoon Network15%8.9% 2%3.7%AltAlt
The Discovery Channel15%14.7% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
Discovery Science15%17.6% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
Discovery Turbo Xtra15%19.0% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
TLC15%15.3% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
Animal Planet15%100.0% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
Disney Cinemagic15%81.4% Technical ExemptionTechnical ExemptionAltAlt
The Discovery Channel15%100.0% 2%2.1%AltAlt
The Disney Channel15%7.5% 2%3.1%AltAlt
Kanal 515%98.9% 2%4.1%AltAlt
Kanal 915%99.2% 2%3.5%AltAlt
TV315%100.0% 2%0.0%AltAlt
TV615%99.4% 2%0.0%AltAlt
TV815%100.0% 2%0.0%AltAlt
Level Two NANA    
Level Three NANA    

1 All non-domestic broadcasters elected to subtitle an additional 5% of programming in lieu of the signing arrangements as set out in the Code.

2 Ofcom has granted technical exemptions for the provision of audio description in those cases where the networks and/or consumer receivers are such that audio description cannot be delivered.