Ofcom has ruled that Sky Sports F1, 4Seven, Nick Jr five other channels will have to provide subtitles, sign language and audio description from 2014 onwards.
Sky Arts 1, Discovery Real Time, Baby TV plus Nick Jr 2 and Nicktoons across all UK TV platforms will be required to add what Ofcom calls ‘television access services’.
Rules on the provision of these services mean that at least 80 per cent of shows across the Sky channels and 4seven will need to have subtitles.
Baby TV will have to provide subtitles on at least 66 per cent of programmes. The less popular Discovery Real Time, Nick Jr, Nick Jr 2 and Nicktoons will need to provide subtitles on 33 per cent of programmes.
All broadcasters will be required to provide audio description on ten per cent of programmes and five per cent if shows will need to feature signing.
Additionally, both Sky and the BBC have committed to providing audio description on 20 per cent of their channels where they’re obliged to provide any. All of the Sky and BBC channels, with the exception of BBC Parliament, are required to provide subtitles.
From 2014 onwards, a total of 76 channels will have to provide television access services.
Elsewhere, Ofcom has called for the quality of subtitles to be overhauled, citing too many instances of bad spelling and grammar. The TV regulator has opened a consultation on exactly how subtitling can be improved. The consultation closed on July 26.