Ofcom wants channels that it licenses that are transmitted beyond the UK to be made to provide subtitling, signing and audio description services.
The UK communications regulator licenses 400 channels that are transmitted beyond UK borders from channel operators including Discovery, Disney, Turner and Viasat. It wants all of these to meet its new requirements by the start of 2014. The cost of introducing these measures should be limited to no more than 1% of revenues and a consultation on the proposals is now open and will close in July.
“Licensees would need to meet the subtitling and audio description targets set out in Ofcom’s Code, rising progressively from 10% for subtitling and 2% for audio description in 2014, to 80% and 10% audio description respectively within ten years,” the regulator noted. “If the cost of meeting these targets in full exceeded 1% of the relevant turnover of a channel, the subtitling targets could be reduced substantially.”