Steve Whyte, Senior Compliance Advisor at UKTV, talks about audio description (AD) at UKTV Channels
As a multi-channel broadcaster, UKTV has achieved unrivalled growth over the last few years. But as our audience grows, so too must our commitment to ensuring that as many of our viewers can access our most popular shows.
We are proud to have played our part in this summer’s RNIB Audio Description awareness campaign and have broadcast our excellent trail across our network of 10 channels throughout August. The trail features Gold’s UKTV Original “Murder on the Blackpool Express”, which was made accessible to as large an audience as possible, and we will be following this up with “Death on the Tyne” later this year.
For our hearing-impaired viewers in 2017, we provided a huge amount of our programming with subtitles, ranging from 76 per cent on W to over 97 per cent on Alibi, which far exceeds the annual quotas set by Ofcom.
And for those who are visually impaired, we also exceeded our 10% audio description quotas by ensuring all our channels provided over 23% of their programmes with AD, with Dave [28 per cent], Yesterday [32 per cent], Gold [39 per cent] and Alibi [57per cent] being notable achievers.
We know we’re not perfect though, as currently we don’t provide any access services on UKTV Play, our on-demand service. However, we are determined to ensure that our web and mobile on-demand platforms will carry subtitles and we are working hard to deliver this in the coming months. Making audio description available on UKTV Play poses different technical challenges, but we have a passionate and talented team of people actively working on it.