HL Deb 26 January 2004 vol 656 cc11-2WA
Lord Morris of Manchester

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What contact Ministers have had, since the enactment of the Communications Act 2003, with public service broadcasters who are still withholding their audio description from blind and partially sighted digital satellite customers; and whether there is any further action they are considering. [HL624]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord Mcintosh of Haringey)

I understand that Channel 5 is now available with audio description on digital satellite but that there remain technical and commercial issues to be solved by broadcasters, manufacturers and platform operators before the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 can be made available on digital satellite. DCMS officials have been working as part of the Digital Television Action Plan to ensure that audio description can be received on all platforms and I am writing to the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 about the issue, given the benefits of finding an early solution.