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The Broadcasting (Sign Language) Order 1997

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Statutory Instruments

1997 No. 167


The Broadcasting (Sign Language) Order 1997


28th January 1997

Coming into force

29th January 1997

The Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred on her by section 21(1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1996(1), and after consultation (in accordance with section 21(3) of that Act) with the Independent Television Commission, hereby makes the following Order, a draft of which has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament: —

1.  This Order may be cited as the Broadcasting (Sign Language) Order 1997 and shall come into force on the day after the day on which it is made.

2.  The Independent Television Commission shall include in the code maintained by them under section 20 of the Broadcasting Act 1996 the requirement that in each week, at least 5% of so much of any digital programme service or qualifying service as consists of programmes which are not excluded programmes for the purposes of that section in relation to presentation in, or translation into, sign language shall be presented in, or translated into, sign language.

3.  The requirement laid down in article 2 shall take effect as from the tenth anniversary of the date of the commencement of the provision of any digital programme service or qualifying service.

Virginia Bottomley

Secretary of State for National Heritage

28th January 1997

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Order)

This Order imposes a requirement on the Independent Television Commission (“the ITC”) to include, in their code on subtitling, signing and audio-description on Digital Terrestrial Television, an obligation to ensure that, in each week, at least 5% of so much of any digital programme service or qualifying service as consists of non-excluded programmes is presented in, or translated into, sign language.

Excluded programmes consist of those in relation to which the ITC considers it to be inappropriate for the obligation to apply. The obligation will only apply as from the tenth anniversary of the date on which the first digital television service is first broadcast.

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