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Channel 4 subtitles outage breached licence, Ofcom rules

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Channel 4 breached the conditions of its broadcast licence by failing to provide enough subtitled programming to some viewers in autumn 2021 after a sonic boom destroyed equipment used to broadcast its programmes, the media watchdog has found.An investigation by the media regulator Ofcom concluded that Channel 4, which is under threat of privatisation, breached its licence conditions when a fire alarm caused the sonic boom to damage computer servers.Ofcom said that on the evening of 25 September, a fire alarm activated at a broadcast centre run by Red Bee Media, a private company that specialises in “playout” services for British broadcasters.

The fire alarm system was designed to quickly reduce the oxygen level in the area through the release of nitrogen gas that is stored under high pressure.

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