Increased provision of programmes with audio subtitling or subtitling services

The Finnish Broadcasting Company and the public service channels, i.e. MTV3, Nelonen and Fox, have to provide programmes that are accompanied with an audio subtitling and subtitling service. According to FICORA, television broadcasters comply with their obligation well.

FICORA has collected data on how audio subtitling and subtitling services were implemented in 2013. With regard to commercial channels, the share of subtitled programme hours in 2013 had to be at least 35 per cent of the programme hours of programmes in Finnish and Swedish. With regard to the Finnish Broadcasting Company, the corresponding percentage share was 70 per cent. All channels fulfilled the obligation and provided a sufficient share of subtitled programmes.

In 2013, an audio subtitling service had to be provided for 35 per cent of the programme hours of programmes in foreign languages on commercial channels. With regard to the Finnish Broadcasting Company, the obligation concerns all subtitled programmes included in public service programmes with certain exceptions. In 2013, commercial channels provided an audio subtitling service for nearly all of their subtitled programmes and thus fulfilled their obligation.

99 per cent of the subtitled programmes on the Finnish Broadcasting Company's channels were provided with an audio subtitling service. The obligation to provide an audio subtitling service for all the subtitled programmes was not totally fulfilled. However, the Finnish Broadcasting Company has increased significantly the share of programmes provided with an audio subtitling service in 2013 compared to previous years.

Subtitling services for television programmes

Providing subtitles in Finnish or Swedish is important to enable the hearing-impaired can watch programmes. Subtitles must be provided in the original language of the programme, i.e. in Finnish in Finnish programmes and in Swedish in Swedish programmes.

When counting the share of programmes provided with a subtitling service, programme hours include all programmes in Finnish and Swedish apart from musical performances and sports and children's programmes.

Audio subtitling services for television programmes

In audio subtitling, the subtitles displayed on the screen are produced as synthetic speech. Audio subtitling helps the visually impaired and print disabled watch television when programmes are subtitled.

When counting the share of programmes provided with an audio subtitling service, programme hours include all the programmes that are not in Finnish or Swedish apart from musical performances and sports and children's programmes.

Audio subtitling and subtitling services have to be provided for a required share of each channel's programmes. Increasing quotas for the shares of audio subtitling and subtitling services are laid down by a Government Decree. The quotas are counted as shares of the annual share of programme hours on the channels. One third of the service can be transmitted in a television broadcaster's on-demand service. The shares of audio subtitling and subtitling services are laid down by a Government Decree.

The actual hours and shares of audio subtitling and subtitling services in 2013 have been published on FICORA's website.


Key words: Radio, Television, Customer service, News


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