New Zealanders who are Deaf or hard of hearing now have more choice when it comes to watching television news and current affairs with the launch of live captioning on Three. 

Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ, in partnership with Able, has developed its platforms to host live captioning on Three’s Newshub Live at 6pmThe Project and Newshub Nation

Sarah Bristow, Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ Senior Director of News, says: “We’re thrilled to offer live captioning for the first time on three of our flagship news and current affairs shows. There are over 880,000 New Zealanders who are Deaf and hard of hearing, and these audiences can now fully engage with these programmes. Overall, 38% of Kiwis watch content with captions every day – whether due to being Deaf; speaking English as a second language, or watching due to preference. We want the important stories we tell at Newshub to be accessible to everyone, and this is a fantastic step towards that.”

Alongside the shows announced today, live captioning will also be available on select other live programmes across news and entertainment as the service expands. 

Dan Buckingham, CEO Able, says: “We can’t overstate how exciting this is! Access to information and plurality of voice have been hot topics in recent times, as we’ve navigated a world of misinformation and disinformation. People who rely on captions will now have even more options when searching for coverage of Aotearoa’s big moments. 

“This announcement also of course means viewers will have more access to other forms of information and entertainment, including live events.  In a year where we have seen the formation of Whaikaha | Ministry of Disabled People, this is another step in ensuring people who live with disability and their access needs are not an afterthought – we seek to watch, enjoy and participate just the same as every other New Zealander.” 

Lachlan Keating, CEO Deaf Aotearoa, says: “Deaf Aotearoa is thrilled to hear that live captions will soon be available on Three. We congratulate Warner Bros. Discovery and Able on this wonderfully positive step, which further increases access for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. Deaf people have been wanting more live-captioning for some time now, so it’s really pleasing to see this become reality .” 

Natasha Gallardo, CEO National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, says: “NFDHH continues to advocate for increased captioning on all media here in Aotearoa. With Warner Bros. Discovery investing in technology to now enable captions to be included in key programmes, this will be welcome news for the Deaf and hard of hearing community. We look forward to seeing more content become available with captions in the near future.” 

Sources: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing; NZ On Air Where are the Audiences 2021

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