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Ofcom ups sign language requirements for small TV channels

UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has set new rules that will boost the amount of TV programmes made specifically for sign language users.

From next January, smaller TV channels — with an audience viewing share of between 0.05% and 1% – will be required to up their amount of British Sign Language-presented programmes form 30 minutes to 75 minutes per month.

As an alternative, channels can currently contribute a minimum of £20,000 (€27,840) a year to help make sign-presented TV programmes available – a figure that Ofcom said “will also rise in real terms.”

Channels that opt to make the financial contribution usually support the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT), which funds sign-presented content shown on the Community Channel and Film 4.