Sky has guaranteed that its most popular on-demand programming will be supported by subtitles by summer 2016.
Ian Rosarius, Director, Product Design & Development at Sky, gave the assurance and outlined other ways in which the pay-TV broadcaster will be improving its subtitling in a blog post. He wrote:
“At Sky, we want to make sure our great content is accessible to as many people as possible. Currently, over 90 per cent of linear content across 26 channels is available with subtitles. That content can be recorded and played back with these services intact. We also make thousands of hours of subtitled content available on demand, which we deliver over the satellite signal and which can be found in the ‘Top Picks’ section of our TV Guide.
But we understand that the way in which people watch TV is changing, and that the vast majority of on demand content is now downloaded over the internet. While there are significant technical challenges to overcome when subtitling on that platform, my team, and others right across the business are determined to address this.
I am pleased to say that by summer 2016, all our customers will be able to watch the most popular and best Sky on demand content, on their TVs, with subtitles.
And it’s not just subtitling where we are making progress. For over ten years, we have had a dedicated Accessible Customer Service team who have been providing specialised support, assisting over 67,000 customers who use our accessibility services.
We have just expanded the team and there are now over 160 specially-trained advisors. Customers can contact us via email, text phone, live chat or sign video relay. Our bespoke Accessibility website also has a ‘What’s on TV’ section where customers can filter programmes by access service.
There may well be more challenges ahead, but we are determined to make this happen. We’ll continue to work closely with organisations like Action on Hearing Loss in order to ensure that our content is accessible to all of our customers, and we will keep you updated on our progress.”