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Channel 4 – “full access services might not be available until the middle of November”

Channel 4’s statement 

On day 25 of the continuing failure of subtitling, signing and audio description services, Channel 4 have confirmed that the crisis could continue until mid-November. This is because not only did the incident at Red Bee Media damage the equipment providing these services, but Channel 4’s own back-up systems also failed. Read the full statement from Channel 4

It’s helpful to have an idea of when the problem at Channel 4 may be fixed and how they will make more subtitled content available, but it still isn’t good enough. 

What we want from Channel 4

We met with Channel 4 today to discuss the impact this crisis continues to have on our communities – and what they need to do to ensure people who are deaf and those with hearing loss are not excluded or ignored. 

Until normal service resumes, we have told them it is vital that they make absolutely clear which shows are subtitled and where people can find them. 

Channel 4 confirmed that they will prioritise making their most popular, prime time shows available with subtitles on All4, their on-demand service. While their website and social media channels are a great way to share this information, we stressed that they also need to share this information with people who aren’t online. 

As a result, Channel 4 have told us they plan to include updates on TV, ahead of the broadcast of the shows that will be available later on demand, with subtitles – hopefully this will be available in time for tonight’s episode of the Great British Bake Off. 

We know that not everyone can access on-demand services and so we’re calling on Channel 4 to show subtitled and signed repeats on linear (normal) TV too. 

We will continue working closely with Channel 4 until the problem is fixed, so please do continue to share your questions and concerns with us at campaigns@beta.rnid.org.uk

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