Entertainment & Arts

BBC agrees to change 'squeezed' TV credits

An example of how TV credits can be made smaller
Image caption Equity said 89% of viewers got "very annoyed" by squeezed credits

The BBC has announced changes to the way it displays a programme's end credits, following pressure from acting union Equity.

It had contacted all the UK's major broadcasters about concerns that credits were being squeezed into small boxes to allow for programme trailers.

Last week, Sky announced changes to its end titles to allow more space.

The BBC has now pledged to make sure at least one episode per series will feature the show's credits in full.

It said it has introduced a range of new commitments in light of Equity's approach, and will now not squeeze the credits for ideally the first or last episode of a drama or comedy series.

The corporation added that while it will continue to promote content during the other episodes it will not do so during broadcasts that pay tribute to people or for productions that "made special use of credits".

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: "Our analysis shows that credit squeezes can be effective in helping audiences to find relevant content, both on TV and on other platforms.

"However, we agree with Equity that we should be careful and sensitive in our use of them, and we have amended our principles with which we plan credit squeezes, restricting them to situations where they are of direct relevance to each programme's audience."

ITV said it has also responded to Equity's concerns, and has "a consistent style guide" designed so that credits "are legible onscreen".

The broadcaster confirmed it has written to Equity to say it is willing to discuss the issue with them.

Equity's research into the subject indicated that 89% of viewers got "very annoyed" by squeezed credits.

The union has campaigned against the practice since 2004, claiming it can damage a performer's future employment prospects.

As reported by The Stage website last week, Sky's own research found three-quarters of its viewers believe that credits are important for actors.

"We spoke to our customers, and their suggestions were instrumental in shaping the changes that we have made to end credits on all our channels," said Sophie Turner Laing, managing director of entertainment, news and broadcast operations at Sky.

Sky's survey also found that 77% are interested in finding out which actors were in the programme they have watched, with 44% saying they want to know who has directed a show.

Equity has said it hopes other broadcasters "will follow suit".

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