Traficom monitors progress in the accessibility of audio-visual content services – first accessibility action plans collected

The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has collected from providers of audio-visual content services established in Finland their action plans for improving the accessibility of their services. This was the first time these action plans were submitted to Traficom. The plans must include measures planned for the years 2022 and 2023. In the future, actions plans will be collected every two to three years. By collecting action plans and monitoring compliance with audio-subtitling and subtitling service obligations, Traficom supports the promotion of accessibility in audio-visual services.

Great differences in comprehensiveness of action plans

The providers of audio-visual content services in Finland are a mixed group of operators with different organisations and sizes. These differences can also be seen in their accessibility action plans. Based on the plans, the accessibility measures taken by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) are much more comprehensive than those by the others. However, many content service providers, such as Elisa Viihde Vuokraamo, Suomen kirjastopalvelu Oy/Viddla and Kuntopaikka HH/KotiTV are taking systematic steps to improve the accessibility of the contents they provide or to develop their own competence in accessibility matters. The smallest operators, in particular, are only beginning to implement accessibility measures, and their plans are still rather modest. A few audio-visual service companies have not submitted their accessibility action plans to Traficom despite requests.

All service providers required to prepare an action plan – Traficom monitors compliance

According to the Act on Electronic Communications Services, a provider of audio-visual content services must prepare an action plan for making its services accessible continuously and gradually. This obligation applies to all providers of audio-visual content services that are established in Finland, not only those that are subject to the separate obligation to provide audio-subtitling and subtitling services. Traficom monitors the implementation of the measures included in the action plans by collecting reports from the providers of audio-visual content services on how they promote accessibility.

Compliance with audio-subtitling and subtitling services mainly good

Each year, Traficom collects information on compliance with the obligation to provide audio-subtitling and subtitling services for television programming. Audio-subtitling and subtitling services have to be provided for a certain share of programmes on each channel covered by the obligation. The obligations concern Yle’s TV channels, the channels MTV3 and Nelonen and, as from the beginning of 2021, similar programming in on-demand programme services (Yle Areena, MTV Katsomo and Ruutu).

In 2021, the audio-subtitling and subtitling service obligations were met by all TV channels to which they apply. With respect to on-demand programme services, the Ruutu service provided by Nelonen had no subtitling services in 2021. However, the company has reported that the service will be put into production during 2022. Traficom will monitor the development of the subtitling service in the Ruutu service and will request additional information from the company in the autumn, if necessary.

 

Enquiries

Tiina Aaltonen, Senior Specialist, tiina.aaltonen@traficom.fi, +358 29 539 0526

Petri Makkonen, Chief Specialist, petri.makkonen@traficom.fi, +358 29 539 0516