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 the first six months of 2018.
As with our last report, which looked at access services provision for the whole of 2017, we have combined reporting on broadcast and on-demand accessibility. This provides consumers with easy access to information on which services available via traditional broadcast television, catch-up or on-demand are accessible to people with sight and/or hearing impairments. Some providers operate both types of services, and our interactive report lets users compare the two.
The statutory rules for broadcast services are different to those for 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. Ofcom will shortly be providing recommendations to inform government’s drafting of regulations in this area.
Ofcom’s next report on broadcast and ODPS accessibility will be published in Spring 2019 and will look at accessibility for the whole 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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