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Channel 4’s access services will not return until mid-November

Broadcaster says a large number of hard disks in a variety of systems were severely damaged by the incident at Red Bee Media last month, which has significantly impacted its playout servers

Channel 4 has admitted it is unlikely to be able to restore access services to all of its programming until the middle of next month, following the problems at Red Bee Media’s Broadcast Centre.

In a statement the broadcaster said its audio description and subtitle services were “irretrievably lost” during the incident.

It added that neither service will be restored until it is able to launch a new system which is currently being built, which it says will enable its channels to move back out of disaster recovery, as well as provide subtitles, audio description and sign language services.

Channel 4 revealed the incident with the fire suppression system on 25th September led to a large number of hard disks in a variety of systems being severely damaged. This significantly impacted the broadcaster’s playout servers.

“We have been rebuilding the system over the last few weeks, and there is still a considerable amount of work to be done. We cannot rush this and run the risk of something going wrong,” added the statement.

“Something like this needs to be installed slowly to ensure our channels don’t come off air and to prevent something like this happening again. That means that full access services might not be available until the middle of November.”

Channel 4 said it has been focusing on restoring subtitles to some of its programming available on All4, including Gogglebox, The Great British Bake Off and its Extra Slice.