ITVX launching Sign Language channel
December 6, 2022
When ITVX officially launches on December 8th, deaf viewers will have access to British Sign Language channel, solely featuring signed programming, which will include a range of shows including Emmerdale and Coronation Street omnibus episodes, Cilla, Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow, Vera, Lewis and The Saint. The channel will be regularly updated and will evolve to include both recent and archive programming from a variety of genres.
ITV’s Director of Accessibility, David Padmore, said: “We’re committed to placing great accessibility at the heart of ITVX and our offering at launch represents significant progress on ITV Hub. Our ITV Signed Channel gives us a fantastic platform for showcasing our rich archive of signed programmes.”
Teri Devine, Associate Director for Inclusion at RNID, added: “Following the recognition of the British Sign Language (BSL) Act earlier this year, it is fantastic to see more and more industries and organisations become accessible to BSL users. We’re thrilled that ITV have considered the accessibility of BSL users for the launch of their new channel feature, making it easier for them to find new signed content. Building in accessibility from the start is important and should be the norm, and we look forward to seeing ITV expanding its access services across the remaining platforms.”
ITVX will offer over 10,000 hours of programming at launch, a huge increase on the volume of content on ITV Hub, and the broadcaster says a big priority has been subtitling and audio-describing the selection of programming. ITVX will now have subtitles for over 90 per cent of on-demand programmes on every platform and device – from the mobile apps, through the main web browsers to all connected TVs and plug-in devices.
For live TV watched through ITVX, subtitles will be available to around 80 per cent of viewers, watching through our mobile apps, web browsers and most connected TV devices, with work in progress to enable live subtitling via the remaining platforms, Freeview, YouView, Freesat and Chromecast.
Subtitles will also be available on all 20 themed channels on all platforms except Freeview, YouView, Freesat and Chromecast, at launch. The remaining subtitling gaps will be resolved in the first half of 2023.
Audio description is available for around 20 per cent of programmes on the platform at launch, including all new ITV drama, with platforms prioritised in consultation with the RNIB.