Audio description at ITV
Jane Laurance, Head of Presentation Strategy at ITV, talks about audio description (AD)
At ITV, we aim to ensure our programmes and services are as accessible as possible to the largest of audiences. We are committed to promoting accessibility both on and off screen, and consequently, we have been delighted to take part in RNIB's Audio Description (AD) promotional campaign.
Number of hours
Ofcom's code on TV Access Services sets annual targets for subtitling, audio description and visually signed content which ITV continues to exceed, measuring year on year against our transmission hours. Ofcom sets ITV's quotas for AD at 10 per cent, ITV voluntarily sets it at 20 per cent and in 2017 ITV's Main channel achieved 20.4 per cent.
We strive to provide the best experience across our family of channels and as a result more than 20 per cent of content across ITV Main Channel, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV is audio described.
We also worked with the RNIB after listening to viewer feedback about AD on reality shows on ITVBe and now offer enhanced audio described service on ITVBe that helps to better describe the fast-paced action of the reality programmes on the channel, such as the Real Housewives of Potomac.
As a broadcaster, we do face challenges, especially when it comes to the AD of live content which we have a wide variety of on our ITV main channel, ITV2 and ITV4. This also goes for our late-delivered content such as Towie and Love Island due to the time it takes to AD shows properly.
We are always looking to improve our accessibility specifications and processes to make sure they're as inclusive as possible An example of this is the work we are doing with our new content service provider TVT. One of the first initiatives we have tasked them with is to ensure the next series of Love Island can be audio described. We will also continue our important conversations with RNIB on how we can continue to improve our services.