Deaf News: Ofcom to force broadcasters to report on the quality of live TV subtitles for the first time

Posted on May 17, 2013



Ofcom have announced that they will require TV broadcasters to report on the quality of their live subtitling for the first time.

The regulator is also proposing a time delay on live subtitles so there is no longer a delay between speech and the subtitles appearing on screen.

Up until now, broadcasters have only been required to report on the amount of subtitling they provide.

The regulator says that while pre-prepared subtitling is generally of a good quality, deaf and hard of hearing viewers have made clear that there are continuing problems with live TV subtitling.

By forcing broadcasters to report on the quality of their subtitles, Ofcom hope broadcasters will be incentivised to make improvements, and that viewers will be able to monitor their progress.

The reports will be published every six months, and will cover the speed and accuracy of subtitling, the delay between speech and subtitles, technical failures, and most importantly perhaps, the number of pre-recorded programmes that are delivered late, resulting in live subtitles of a lower quality than pre-recorded subtitles.

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Posted in: deaf news