This report sets out the extent to which broadcast television channels and on-demand programme services (“ODPS”) carried subtitles, audio description and/or signing (collectively, “access services”) in 2017.
This is the first time that we have combined reporting on broadcast and on-demand accessibility. We want consumers to have easy access to information on which services are accessible to people with sight and/or hearing impairments, whether those services are accessed via traditional broadcast television, catch-up or ‘on-demand’. Some providers operate both types of services, and our interactive report lets users compare the two.
The statutory rules applying to broadcast services are different to those applying to on-demand services. 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. For on-demand (including ‘catch-up’) services, there has been no legal requirement to provide access services. However, the Digital Economy Act 2017 paves the way for such requirements, and Ofcom’s recent consultation will inform government’s drafting of regulations in this area.
Ofcom’s next report on broadcast and ODPS accessibility will be published in autumn 2018 and will look at accessibility in the first six months of 2018.
We have provided this report in an interactive form so that consumers can compare the accessibility of broadcast and on-demand services across a variety of platforms. In addition to the report we have provided excel spreadsheets containing the full data set. If you have accessibility requirements which are not met by these publications, and would like to request information in a different format, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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