Ofcom publishes 2012 TV access requirements

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Friday, 24 June 2011 12:14pm

Ofcom, the UK media and communications regulator, has published its mid-year statement on 2012 TV access requirements, requiring increased captioning and audio description across UK television channels.

The statement, ‘Television channels required to provide access services in 2012’, has the following outcomes for 2012:

  • 69 television channels will be required to provide access services, including 62 at the highest level of access targets (four more than in 2011)
  • Another four which were not required to provide access services in 2011 will have access requirements in 2012.
  • 30 time-shifted channels will be required to provide access services.

The BBC, all non-sport Sky channels, ITV and Channel 4 have agreed to exceed their minimum audio description obligations, and have committed to audio describing 20% of non-excluded programming.

By law, Ofcom is required to review the television industry mid-year to determine the access targets which individual channels will be required to meet the following year. Ofcom takes into account the size of each channel’s audience share and each channel’s revenue, and allocates the channels to one of the three target levels.

Level one requires the highest level of access, requiring channels to:

  • Caption 10% of all programming in the first reporting year, increasing to 80% in the 10th year
  • Audio describe 10% of programming by the fifth reporting year
  • Provide sign language on 5% of programming by the tenth reporting year

Level two requirements are 66% of the level one targets, and level three are 33% of the level one targets.

Visit our page on UK access regulation for more information.

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