Yorkshire news Ofcom says Channel 4 breached licence over subtitles outage PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - Last year the broadcaster faced several technical issues that were triggered by problems at the centre that controls its playout services

Yorkshire news Ofcom says Channel 4 breached licence over subtitles outage PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - Last year the broadcaster faced several technical issues that were triggered by problems at the centre that controls its playout services

Yorkshire news  Ofcom says Channel 4 breached licence over subtitles outage PremierLeague-News.Com
20 June 2022 - 17:30

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Channel 4 breached conditions of its broadcast licence following an extended outage of its subtitle services last year, an Ofcom investigation has ruled. Between September and November, the broadcaster faced several issues that were caused by problems at the centre that takes care of its playout services. Although the incident was noted by Ofcom as "unprecedented", the broadcaster's "prolonged outage" of subtitling, signing and audio descriptions meant it "fell short of the statutory requirement to subtitle 90 per cent of its programme hours over 2021 on the Freesat service". Channel 4 was also ruled to have breached another licence condition, the media watchdog stated, by "failing to effectively communicate" with those affected audiences following the incident. READ MORE: Phillip Schofield cries on This Morning during coming out interview with Kelly Holmes A statement from Ofcom said: "An Ofcom investigation has found Channel 4 breached the conditions of its broadcast licence following an extended outage of its subtitling, signing and audio description services. These ‘access services’ are relied on by millions of people to watch and listen to television, including those who are deaf, have hearing loss, are blind or partially sighted." It added: "Our investigation found that, as a result of an incident at a broadcast centre run by Red Bee Media, Freesat audiences who rely on subtitles were unable to fully access Channel 4 programmes for nearly two months." The problems first came about in September 2021 after a fire suppression system was triggered at the broadcast centre of Red Bee Media, severely damaging a large number of hard disks in a variety of systems. The issues was not fully resolved until November 19. Ofcom noted in the report that a number of other broadcasters were also affected by the incident but to "a lesser degree". Following the incident, the broadcasting watchdog has insisted broadcasters must improve their disaster recovery plans. It stated: "Broadcasters must improve their disaster recovery plans and processes. Disaster recovery facilities must be specified to carry access services, as well as sound and vision, and be regularly tested under simulated emergency conditions.

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." It added: "Staff at all points in the transmission chain must be properly trained to correctly follow the disaster recovery procedures. Broadcasters must prepare effective communication plans in case of service interruptions. This includes taking into account the particular needs of the affected audience, and making use, as appropriate, of their own TV channels and not just social media to communicate with them." Ofcom has said it will be reviewing its 'TV Technical Codes' later this this and will take into account what changes will needed to be made to ensure the delivery of access services fall in line with sound and vision protocols. Ofcom’s group director for broadcasting, Kevin Bakhurst, said: "When things go wrong, broadcasters must have plans in place to restore important services, but also to let audiences know what they can expect. By failing to do this, Channel 4 let down people who use subtitles, signing or audio description to enjoy programmes. "There are a number of lessons for broadcasters to learn from this incident. We’ve told them they must improve and test their back-up plans and infrastructure to minimise the risk of such a disruptive outage happening again." A statement from Channel 4 said: "Channel 4 is very disappointed with Ofcom’s decision and will review its findings carefully. We would like to apologise once again to our audiences for the disruption to our access services following the catastrophic incident last September and since then we have implemented a number of new systems and processes to avoid a serious incident in the future." The broadcaster noted that its commitments for 2022 include returning to 100 per cent subtitled content across all its linear channels, and on its on-demand service All 4 by the end of the year. It is also aiming to increase the amount of signing on Channel 4 and E4 as well as upping the audio descriptions on linear channels. READ NEXT: List of UK areas with new suspected monkeypox cases - including one in South Tyneside Tragedy as man's body recovered from vehicle that went into the sea near Souter Lighthouse Girl, 11, remains in hospital a week on from motorbike horror on Lemington cycle path

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