01 December 2008

EU directive requiring captioning for all public service TV programming

Directive issued by the European Parliament requires all future public service TV programmes to be closed captioned.

One in six Europeans suffers from hearing loss. This problem will only increase in coming years as the population ages and more noise induced hearing loss is inflicted.

Closed captioning ensures that all viewers, including those who are deaf or hearing impaired, are able to enjoy their TV like everyone else. Closed captioning provides on-screen transcription of the dialogue and usually includes descriptions of important non-dialogue audio, as well.

BBC UK is a leading TV network with respect to closed captioning. In 1999, BBC UK took aim at providing closed captioning for all of its main channels by April 2008. The objective was achieved, and more than 50,000 hours per year of programming on BBC UK channels now offer closed captioning. The main channels include BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies, CBBC and BBC News.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter; BBC.
Published on hear-it on December 1, 2008.

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