Captions will be available on TVNZ 1’s Breakfast programme from Monday 5 October 2020 following a major funding boost for Able, New Zealand’s provider of captioning and audio description for free-to-air television.

NZ On Air has given Able a significant funding boost, increasing its annual funding from $2.9 million to $4.9 million for the year ahead, made possible through a Budget 2020 funding boost for vital public-media platforms and services.

‘We know that those who benefit from captions, including the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, have been asking for captions for Breakfast for many years, and we’re very excited to be able to launch this new service and make the show accessible. All New Zealanders deserve to be able to enjoy and access local content, and this new funding is taking us a step closer to equal access,’ said Able chief executive Wendy Youens.

In Able’s 2019 research into media-access services, 43% of general users wanted captions added to Breakfast, and 60% of Deaf and hard-of-hearing users wanted the programme captioned.

‘There are so many households with a mix of hearing and hearing-impaired or Deaf family members. Bringing captions to Breakfast means the whole family will be able to watch together. We’re really excited to be reaching new viewers from next week. This has been a long time coming, and the Able team have a big task on their hands with three hours of live television each morning, but we’re all looking forward to the challenge,’ said executive producer of Breakfast Jonathan Williams.

In addition to launching captions for Breakfast, Able will be using the funding boost to increase captioning and audio description across TVNZ 1, TVNZ 2, Three and Prime.

Next in the journal:

An image of a light blue circle, which overlaps with a violet square, with a teal intersection.
Norelle posing for a photo in her living room

Norelle’s Story

"Captions have certainly helped me in the times that my brain’s been in a fog, and I use…

A headshot of Sam Smith, who has dark hair and a beard, and a slight smile as he looks down the barrel of the camera

Sam’s Story

"I remember, when I was a child I saved up money for weeks (I still can’t believe my…

Rebecca posing for a photo in front of a beach setting

Rebecca’s Story

"I first discovered captions on TV as a teenager, and I was so excited to finally be able…

Karen standing in her garden next to a potted plant

Karen’s Story

"It’s a bit like people who get hearing aids and say: “listen to the birds!” It feels similar…

image of news presenters

What it’s like to live-caption Donald Trump, and who is James Tame?

We sat down to talk about the reality of live-captioning with two of our Caption Editors, James Brown…