a a a Display Options Cymraeg
Follow Ofcom on Facebook Follow Ofcom on Twitter Subscribe to the Ofcom RSS Follow Ofcom on YouTube Follow Ofcom on YouTube

Independent regulator and competition authority
for the UK communications industries.

Search Ofcom


Television Access Services: Report for the first six months of 2012

The first bi-annual report for 2012 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 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/code-tv-access-services/

This report shows that most broadcasters are exceeding their obligations for subtitling, audio description and for signing of programmes. Where broadcasters are not meeting the requirements, Ofcom will expect them to take action to ensure fulfilment of their obligations over the course of this year.

In the final report for 2011 (-1-), Ofcom noted that Nickelodeon had missed its subtitling and audio description targets, and Sky Livingit and Challenge had missed their subtitling targets. The corresponding shortfalls were therefore added to the channels’ 2012 quotas. It is encouraging to note that, so far, these channels are on course to meet or exceed their revised targets. 

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 started to provide audio description though is still some way short of the target, and is also under-delivering against its subtitling target. Ofcom expects ESPN to take the necessary measures to become compliant by the end of 2012.

A number of broadcasters have committed on a voluntary basis to increase audio description on all or most of their channels to 20%. This includes the BBC (building to 20% from 10% in 2% increments each year), ITV1 (in England & Wales), Channel 4, and Sky (with the exception of its sports channels).

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 March 2013, providing the data for the full year 2012.

Service Subtitling Audio Description Signing  
  Annual quota Achieved (Q1&2) Annual quota Achieved (Q1&2) Annual quota Achieved (Q1&2)
Level 1
BBC1 100% 99.9% 10% 15.3% 5% 5.4%
BBC2 100% 100.0% 10% 15.1% 5% 5.7%
BBC3 100% 100.0% 10% 21.2% 5% 5.4%
BBC4 100% 99.9% 10% 27.0% 5% 5.6%
BBC News 100% 100.0% Exempt 5% 5.1%
CBBC 100% 100.0% 10% 24.2% 5% 5.3%
CBeebies 100% 100.0% 10% 15.5% 5% 5.8%
BBC HD 37% 89.3% 8% 21.3% 2% 2.9%
ITV 1 90% 97.9% 10% 17.4% 5% 5.5%
ITV Breakfast 90% 94.2% 10% 18.2% 5% 5.1%
ITV 2 70% 93.9% 10% 29.3% 4% 4.4%
ITV3 70% 93.9% 10% 23.6% 4% 4.0%
ITV4 62% 67.2% 10% 25.5% Alt
CITV 60% 82.7% 10% 28.4% 30 mins sign presented (3)
Channel 4 90% 100.0% 10% 25.8% 5% 5.6%
E4 70% 100.0% 10% 42.9% 4% 5.1%
More 4 70% 100.0% 10% 26.5% Alt
Film 4 60% 100.0% 10% 28.4% Alt
Channel 5 80% 89.1% 10% 12.8% 5% 8.9%
5* 60% 60.0% 10% 13.2% Alt
5 USA 60% 64.3% 10% 17.5% Alt
Sky News 70% 71.7% Exempt Alt
Sky One 70% 72.8% 10% 23.0% Alt
Sky Two 70% 74.4% 10% 24.3% Alt
Pick TV 62% 77.8% 10% 32.4% Alt
Sky Sports 1 70% 71.2% 10% 9.8% Alt
Sky Sports 2 70% 72.1% 10% 12.0% Alt
Sky Sports 3 70% 72.1% 10% 14.0% Alt
Sky Sports 4 70% 71.2% 10% 22.9% Alt
Sky Sports News 70% 71.5% Exempt Alt
Sky Movies Action 70% 79.5% 10% 37.4% Alt
Sky Movies Comedy 70% 75.8% 10% 43.8% Alt
Sky Movies Classics 70% 74.9% 10% 22.5% Alt
Sky Movies Drama/Rom 70% 79.1% 10% 33.7% Alt
Sky Movies Family 70% 77.0% 10% 43.9% Alt
Sky Movies Modern Greats 70% 73.4% 10% 23.2% Alt
Sky Movies SciFi/Horror 70% 77.9% 10% 29.5% Alt
Sky Movies Premiere 70% 77.8% 10% 31.4% Alt
Sky Movies Showcase 60% 82.7% 10% 48.1% Alt
Sky Thriller 60% 79.9% 10% 31.9% Alt
Sky Livingit 79.6% (4) 76.7% 10% 11.2% Alt
Sky Living 70% 71.8% 10% 13.4% Alt
Dave 70% 83.2% 10% 22.9%  Alt
Blighty 70% 77.5% 10% 36.4% Alt
Good Food 70% 74.4% 10% 18.4% Alt
Eden 70% 75.9% 10% 37.0% Alt
Yesterday 70% 73.9% 10% 19.5% Alt
Alibi 70% 94.8% 10% 27.7% Alt
G.O.L.D. 70% 79.6% 10% 34.4% Alt
Home 70% 79.5% 10% 25.2% Alt
Watch 35% 55.2% 7% 20.4% Alt
Disney Channel 70% 95.7% 10% 20.8% Alt
Disney Junior 70% 83.4% 10% 31.6% Alt
Disney Cinemagic 60% 97.0% 10% 15.2% Alt
Disney XD 70% 86.7% 10% 23.1% Alt
4Music 70% 89.3% Exempt Alt
Universal 70% 74.8% 10% 10.2% Alt
Nickelodeon 71.7% (5) 76.3% 11.6% (6) 8.5% Alt
ESPN 23% 11.4% 8% (7) 2.45% Alt
Discovery Channel 70% 74.4% 10% 12.4% Alt
MTV 70% 63.4% 10% 5.2% Alt
Comedy Central 70% 62.9% 10% 10.9% Alt
Level Two
Challenge 55.4% (8) 55.9% 10% 14.1% Alt
FX 46% 75.3% 10% 23.0% Alt
S4C (9) 53% 79.5% 10% 9.1% 5% 4.0%
Level Three
Viva 23% 37.9% Exempt Alt
Animal Planet 23% 28.3% 10% 17.0% Alt
Discovery Real Time 23% 21.9% 10% 10.5% Alt
Discovery History 21% 20.0% 3% 5.0% Alt
National Geographic 23% 28.8%  10%  32.5% Alt

Source: Ofcom – data provided by broadcasters

Footnotes:

  1.-http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/market-data/tv-sector-data/tv-access-services-reports/2011-cumulative

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

  3.- From January 2011, CiTV chose to meet its signing obligatioms by showing at least 30 minutes of sign-presented programming each month.

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

  6.- Nickelodeon had a 1.6% shortfall in audio description provision in 2011 and this is therefore added to their requirement under the Code to Audio Describe 10% of content in 2012.

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

  8.- Challenge had a 9.2% shortfall in subtitling provision in 2011 and this is therefore added to their requirement under the Code to subtitling 46.2% in 2012

  9.- In the light of information provided by S4C, its obligation to provide access services have been set at Level 2 for 2012.   

Back to top