The Digital Economy Act 2017 has come into law. The Act requires audio description, subtitles and sign language on video on demand services.
We, along with other charities, have been working for a long time to persuade the Government to make audio description on catch-up TV a requirement by law.
What happens next?
The Digital Economy Act 2017 paves the way to audio described programmes appearing on catch-up TV, but it will take around a year for the regulator and the industry to start putting it into practice. Throughout this we will continue to work to ensure the changes happen as quickly and as effectively as possible.
We expect the availability of audio described programmes to start increasing on catch-up TV over 2018.
Our Policy Manager Hugh Huddy, who congratulates everyone for their hard work to achieve this campaign win, says:
"Ofcom's research shows 70 per cent of the UK public now watch programmes at a time that suits them using “on-demand” or “catch-up” TV. It was just never right that by the time broadcast programmes reach the catch-up services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and Demand 5, the audio description was gone. The Digital Economy Act 2017 paves the way to fix this, but it won't happen overnight. Good things come to those who wait, and it's great that blind and partially sighted people won't now have to wait forever."