UK media regulator Ofcom has unveiled new codes requiring broadcasters to offer increased services such as subtitling and audio description for those with hearing and visual impairment.
The codes will now apply to 70 channels, compared with 50 originally proposed in Ofcom's consultation, accounting for more than 95% of peak-time viewing. Programmes with subtitles, signing and audio description will have to be clearly identified in electronic programme guides (EPGs).
According to The Guardian, the combined cost of operating subtitling and audio description services is £37m per annum. Ofcom said its revised Television Access Services and EPG codes sought to balance the demand for increased service targets with broadcasters' concerns over increased costs.
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