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Television Access Services: Final report on 2012

Published 26|03|13

This is the final report for 2012 on the provision of television access services (subtitling, signing and audio description) by broadcasters under the Code on Television Access Services. As such, it shows the cumulative position from January to December 2012. An explanation of the obligations applying to broadcasters is given in the Code of Television Access Services and is available on the Ofcom website. http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/broadcasting/broadcast-codes/tv-access-services/

Ofcom welcomes the fact that the vast majority of channels continue to meet or exceed their television access service targets, many by significant margins1. Many channels are now subtitling more than 70% of their content. A number of broadcasters have voluntarily committed to deliver 20% audio description on all or most of their channels. This includes ITV1 (in England & Wales), Channel 4, and Sky (with the exception of its sports channels) and the BBC who have committed to increase its audio description targets in 2% annual increments from 2011 onwards. Ofcom is also pleased to note that many other broadcasters have delivered significantly more audio description than they were required to do.

Two channels that missed their subtitling targets in 2011 (Livingit and Challenge) and one channel that missed both its subtitling and audio description targets (Nickelodeon) had the shortfalls added to their targets for 2012 and have managed to exceed them.

In June 2012, Ofcom found ESPN in breach of the Ofcom Code on Television Access Services for failure to provide any audio description in 2011, despite a target of 3%2. The shortfall was added to ESPN's audio description quota for 2012. As this report shows, EPSN has again failed to meet its audio description target and also under-delivered against its subtitling target by 6.82%. We are currently in discussions with ESPN about this matter.

Channels with an audience share of between 0.05% and 1% have the option either to broadcast 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 broadcast on the Community Channel and Film 4.

We expect to publish the next report at the beginning of September 2013, providing data for the first six months of 2013.


Television Access Services: Full Year Report 2012

Service Subtitling Audio Description Signing
  Annual quota Achieved (Full 2012) Annual quota Achieved (Full 2012) Annual quota Achieved (Full 2012)
Level 1            
BBC1 100% 99.9% 10% 15.5% 5% 5.2%
BBC2 100% 99.9% 10% 15.3% 5% 5.5%
BBC3 100% 100% 10% 21.0% 5% 5.4%
BBC4 100% 99.9% 10% 25.3% 5% 5.7%
BBC News 100% 100% Exempt 5% 5.3%
CBBC 100% 100% 10% 23.5% 5% 5.2%
CBeebies 100% 100% 10% 17.0% 5% 5.8%
BBC HD 37.1% 88.3% 8.1% 20.9% 2.1% 2.5%
ITV 1 90% 96.9% 10% 18.7% 5% 5.9%
ITV Breakfast 90% 93.5% 10% 29.4% 5% 5.6%
ITV 2 70% 93.9% 10% 30.0% 4% 4.7%
ITV3 70% 94.5% 10% 31.0% 4% 4.5%
ITV4 61.6% 76.7% 10% 27.2% Alt3
CITV 60% 81.4% 10% 34.0% 30mins sign presented
Channel 4 90% 100% 10% 26.1% 5% 5.3%
E4 70% 100% 10% 47.7% 4% 4.8%
More 4 70% 99.9% 10% 23.8% Alt
Film 4 60% 100% 10% 27.1% Alt
Channel 5 80% 90.4% 10% 11.6% 5% 9.1%
5* 60% 60.4% 10% 14.5% Alt
5 USA 60% 67.7% 10% 16.9% Alt
Sky News 70% 72.2% Exempt Alt
Sky One 70% 74.9% 10% 24.1% Alt
Sky Two 70% 76.8% 10% 24.5% Alt
Pick TV (formerly Sky Three) 62% 78.1% 10% 29.7% Alt
Sky Sports 1 70% 71.3% 10% 10.5% Alt
Sky Sports 2 70% 72.2% 10% 11.4% Alt
Sky Sports 3 70% 71.6% 10% 15.5% Alt
Sky Sports 4 70% 71.8% 10% 19.9% Alt
Sky Sports News 70% 72.2% Exempt Alt
Sky Movies Action 70% 76.2% 10% 35.7% Alt
Sky Movies Comedy 70% 76.8% 10% 41.5% Alt
Sky Movies Classics 70% 73.1% 10% 23.0% Alt
Sky Movies Drama/Rom 70% 78.7% 10% 30.5% Alt
Sky Movies Family 70% 79.7% 10% 40.0% Alt
Sky Movies Modern Greats 70% 75.2% 10% 23.8% Alt
Sky Movies SciFi/Horror 70% 75.9% 10% 30.1% Alt
Sky Movies Premiere 70% 76.6% 10% 27.7% Alt
Sky Movies Christmas (formerly Sky Movies Showcase) 60% 82.9% 10% 50.7% Alt
Sky Thriller (formerly Sky Movies Crime/Thriller) 60% 78.2% 10% 29.5% Alt
Sky Livingit (formerly Livingit) 79.6%4 79.7% 10% 13.0% Alt
Sky Living (formerly Living) 70% 75.6% 10% 14.9% Alt
Dave 70% 83.2% 10% 31.1% Alt 
Blighty 70% 75.7% 10% 41.5% Alt
Good Food 70% 74.8% 10% 24.2% Alt
Eden 70% 76.1% 10% 35.2% Alt
Yesterday 70% 72.0% 10% 17.0% Alt
Alibi 70% 90.4% 10% 30.7% Alt
G.O.L.D. 70% 81.7% 10% 33.6% Alt
Home 70% 75.8% 10% 27.8% Alt
Watch 35% 56.1% 6.5% 22.4% Alt
Disney Channel 70% 94.6% 10% 19.8% Alt
Disney Junior (formerly Playhouse Disney) 70% 84.8% 10% 31.4% Alt
Disney Cinemagic 60% 96.0% 10% 15.2% Alt
Disney XD 70% 87.9% 10% 23.0% Alt
4Music 70% 83.5% Exempt  Alt
Universal (formerly Hallmark) 70% 75.9% 10% 11.1% Alt
Nickelodeon 71.7%5 72.7% 10% 11.7% Alt
ESPN 22.5% 15.7% 8%6 2.3% Alt
Discovery Channel 70% 84.5% 10% 11.7% Alt
MTV 70% 72.2% 10% 11.7% Alt
Comedy Central 70% 71.4% 10% 16.1% Alt
Level 2            
Challenge 55.4%7 60.8% 10% 14.2% Alt
S4C 46.6% 80.9% 10% 10.4% 5% 5.1%
FX 46.6% 74.7% 10% 22.7% Alt
Level 3            
Viva 23.1% 47.1% Exempt Alt
Animal Planet 23.1% 32.8% 10% 19.1% Alt
Discovery Real Time 23.1% 25.6% 10% 12.4% Alt
Discovery History 20.5% 25.4% 3.3% 5.6% Alt
National Geographic 23.1% 26.3% 10% 26.0% Alt

 

Source: Ofcom data provided by broadcasters

1 The BBC has adopted a voluntary target of 100% subtitling in respect of its programmes. As occasional glitches are inevitable, this target is very difficult to meet in practice. The BBC reported that technical and operational outages meant that some subtitling was not successfully transmitted. Nonetheless, the BBC channels missed the 100% target by no more than 0.1%.

2 http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/enforcement/broadcast-bulletins/obb207/obb207.pdf

3 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 broadcast on the Community Channel and Film 4.

4 Sky Livingit had a 9.6% shortfall in subtitling provision in 2011 and this was therefore added to their requirement under the Code to subtitling 70% in 2012

5 Nickelodeon had a 1.7% shortfall in subtitling provision in 2011 and this was therefore added to their requirement under the Code to subtitling 70% in 2012

6 ESPN had a 3% shortfall in audio description provision in 2011 and this was therefore added to their requirement under the Code to Audio Describe 5% of content in 2012.

7 Challenge had a 9.2% shortfall in subtitling provision in 2011 and this was therefore added to their requirement under the Code to subtitling 46.2% in 2012

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