Ofcom Publishes Report On Accessibility Of Broadcast And On-demand Programme Services
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The report sets out the proportion of traditional broadcast and
on-demand services with subtitles, audio description or signing,
allowing for industry and consumers to measure progress and draw
Ofcom recognises that the Coronavirus pandemic has presented
challenges for broadcasters and on-demand providers in delivering
access services. Nevertheless, in 2020 traditional broadcasters
continued to meet or exceed their subtitling, audio description and
A greater proportion of on-demand providers offered subtitles in
2020 (63.8% up from 58.1% in 2019), but fewer offered audio
description (16.7% down from 17.4%) and signing (11.4% down from
Among on-demand services that provided access services, there
were small increases in the proportion of content made accessible:
58.1% of programming hours were subtitled in 2020 (up from 51.2% in
2019), 14.2% were audio described (up from 9.7%) and 2.4% were
signed (up from 1.5%).
There is currently no legal requirement on providers of
on-demand programming services to make their content accessible to
people with hearing or visual impairments. This differs from
broadcast television services, where broadcasters must achieve
specific accessibility targets. The Digital Economy Act 2017,
however, paved the way for on-demand accessibility requirements,
and Ofcom has set out its initial recommendations to Government to
inform its draft Regulations. Following a second consultation,
Ofcom will be making further recommendations to Government in the
coming weeks. To access the report, click here. To access Ofcom’s initial
recommendations to Government, click here.
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