Broadcasters Agreement concerning aids for disabled persons

25.09.2013
On the 5th of June 2013, TVP SA, Telewizja POLSAT, Telewizja TVN, Telewizja PULS, Polskie Media (TV4), ATM Grupa SA, Stavka Sp. z o.o. signed an agreement concerning aids in TV programmes for visually impaired and hearing impaired persons.

The agreement has been established in connection with the enactment of Art. 18a of the Broadcasting Act on 1 July 2011, which has imposed on TV broadcasters the obligation to provide services to visually impaired and hearing impaired persons that facilitate the programme reception for those individuals. As of 2012, programmes featuring aids are to account for 10% of the quarterly transmission time excluding advertising and teleshopping.

In discharging its statutory obligation to initiate and support self-regulation and joint regulation in terms of providing media services, acting in conjunction with the recommendations of the Directive 2010/13/UE of the European Parliament on audiovisual media services and the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, the National Broadcasting Council conducted public consultations in May-June 2012. The postulates raised by the disabled persons’ communities were thoroughly analysed, and many of them (yet not all) were recommended for implementation. The work of the Council-initiated team of broadcasters’ representatives and representatives of disabled communities lasted from September last year until January 2013; the team has worked out basic outlines for the Agreement. During the work process, input from other European countries was employed including such ready-available documents as statutes, ordinances or codes of good practice.

This document contains missing definitions of services dedicated to visually impaired and hearing impaired persons. It elaborates on the necessity of ensuring the adequate quality of individual types of aids, and takes into account the technical, organisational and financial capabilities of broadcasters. The Agreement advocates for keeping the right proportions between different aid types in order to address the programme function and profile rather than for imposing arbitrary percentage values. The document describes also methods of informing disabled recipients about the offer prepared for them in individual programmes.

The Agreement does not address all the expectations raised by the disabled persons’ community. Some of the raised proposals require amendments to the applicable law, other - increasing the financial outlays or implementation of relevant technical solutions by broadcasters.

The Agreement shall come into force as of 1 July 2013. One year after its implementation, based on the analysis of the situation and consultations with the interested communities and broadcasters the National Broadcasting Council is going to review the aids system with the view to ensure better fulfilment of the needs of hearing impaired and visually impaired persons - users of the TV programme.

Read the Broadcasters’ Agreement:

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The National Broadcasting Council's Office

Skwer Ks. Kard. S. Wyszyńskiego 9, 01-015 Warsaw, Poland
tel: ( 48 22) 597 3000, fax (48 22) 597 3180

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