Ofcom conducts an annual mid-year review of access requirements, based on each channel’s revenue and audience share in the previous year. Following this year’s review, 79 domestic channels will be required to provide access services in 2015, compared to 76 in 2014. This accounts for over 90% of the total UK audience share.
67 of the 79 channels will have to provide access services at the highest of three levels that Ofcom sets. For channels which have been broadcasting for ten years, the targets are generally 80% of programs captioned, 5% signed and 10% audio described. The exceptions to this are Channel 3 and Channel 4, which have captioning targets of 90%, and BBC channels other than BBC Parliament, which have captioning targets of 100%. In addition to this, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and most BSkyB channels have voluntarily committed to an audio description target of 20%.
Ofcom also sets access targets for non-domestic channels which broadcast in other member states of the European Union. 39 non-domestic channels will be required to provide access services in 2015, compared to 40 in 2014.
For more information about access requirements in the UK and other countries, see our International access regulation page.
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