Under the new rules, the main channel of Ireland’s public broadcaster, RTÉ One, will have to caption 87-92% of programs by 2018. Its target for 2014 was 82-87%. Other channels have lower targets, with TV3 having to caption 51-55% by 2018. Three RTÉ channels which commenced broadcasting in 2011 have also had targets set for the first time.
Audio description targets have been set at 2.5% for RTÉ One and RTÉ Two, and 5% for RTÉ jr, by 2018.
The review of access rules followed a public consultation process. It is the first review since 2012, when the BAI caused outrage among consumers and their representative groups by lowering caption targets.
Ireland’s regulator is unique in stipulating target ranges, rather than a single percentage. The reasoning behind this is that it is acceptable for channels to meet the lower end of target if they have worked to improve caption quality, or undertaken the captioning of more difficult programs, such as live programs.
In reviewing the state of captioning in Ireland, the BAI noted problems with the quality of live captioning. It has suggested that Irish broadcasters could work with UK broadcasters, who have much more experience with live captioning, and plans to set up a meeting later this year.
Top of page