More TV channels required to broadcast subtitles in 2017


BT Sport Europe, CBS Reality, Spike and True Entertainment will be obligated to broadcast subtitles from 2017 under Ofcom rules on providing access services.

The announcement containing which channels will need to provide Access Services is part of Ofcom's regular review of services as required by the 2003 Communications Act. According to Ofcom, channels found on the list are required to provide Access Services to enable audiences with "sensory impairments to understand and enjoy TV programmes."

The number of programmes offered with subtitles, audio description or in-vision signing depends on a combination of audience share, revenue and how long a channel has been on-air.

In total 80 channels, including BT Sport Europe and Spike are required to meet full current annual requirements next year, with an 80% subtitling quota for most channels outside of the big five and BBC offshoot channels. All 80 channels are required to provide some programming with audio description and in-vision signing, depending on how long they have been on-air.

CBS Reality and True Entertainment will be allowed to show fewer programmes with access services. True Entertainment has a subtitling target of 66% of programmes and CBS Reality must subtitle 33% of programmes.


Level One (full requirements)
(80 channels as compared with 79 in 2016)

4Music
4seven
5 USA
5*
Alibi
Animal Planet
BBC Four
BBC News
BBC One
BBC Two
BT Sport 1
BT Sport 2
BT Sport Europe
CBBC
CBeebies
Challenge
Channel 4
Channel 5
CITV
Comedy Central
Comedy Central Extra
Dave
Discovery
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
Drama
E4
Eden
Film 4
Fox
Gold
Good Food
Greats
Home
ITV
ITV Encore
ITV2
ITV3
ITV4
ITVBe
More 4
MTV
MTV Music
Nick Jr Too
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Nicktoons
Pick
Quest
Really
Sky Arts
Sky Atlantic
Sky Living
Sky Movies
Sky Movies Action & Adventure
Sky Movies Comedy
Sky Movies Crime & Thriller
Sky Movies Disney
Sky Movies Drama & Romance
Sky Movies Family
Sky Movies Premiere
Sky Movies Sci Fi & Horror
Sky Movies Showcase
Sky News
Sky Real Lives
Sky Sports 1
Sky Sports 2
Sky Sports 3
Sky Sports 4
Sky Sports 5
Sky Sports F1
Sky Sports News HQ
Sky1
Sky2
Spike
TLC
Universal
Viva
W
Yesterday

Level Two (full requirements for signing and audio description; 66% of subtitling)

Boomerang (up from level 3)
Cartoon Network (up from level 3)
S4C
True Entertainment (NEW)


Level Three (full requirements for signing and audio description; 33% of subtitling)

CBS Reality


Source: Ofcom. Note: Sky Movies will be rebranded Sky Cinema this month. +1 and HD versions of any of these channels must also carry access services.

BBC Alba, which appeared in level 2 in the original iteration of the 2016 Access Services list is not included. In November 2015, revised channel data was provided to Ofcom, which means it does not meet the criteria to have to broadcast access services if it doesn't want to.

Ofcom rules on subtitling also affect European broadcasters licensed by Ofcom, including some of Discovery's TV channels for continental Europe and some Scandinavian channels. Currently, TV stations in other parts of the European Economic Area (EEA) can be licensed in the UK for broadcast in a different country. Depending on the outcome of the EU exit negotiations, these channels may have to be re-registered in another European country, with the UK regulator losing control over the amount of subtitles they broadcast.





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