Red Bee Media's newly opened French office has signed its first contract, providing subtitling services to French national broadcaster M6. From mid-March, the company will be subtitling a number of M6's programmes including the weekday midday news and the evening news.
M6 is the first French broadcaster to use Red Bee Media's unique subtitling technique which allows a high volume of programmes to be live subtitled quickly and efficiently. The respeaking technique enables almost immediate transmission of subtitles on any programme.
"We are very happy to join with Red Bee Media in order to enable all our viewers, without exception, to follow most of our live programmes and also to allow everyone to be a citizen viewer by following the subtitled programmes related to the elections," said Alain Chartiez, programme controller, M6.
"I am excited we will be able to help M6 reach the widest possible audience with our innovative respeaking technique. By this way, we are able to achieve exceptional accuracy levels, by using just one rather than multiple subtitlers. It also means we can produce live subtitles with an average of two to four second time delay, "said Alex Keiller, directeur general, Red Bee Media France.
Red Bee Media opened the office in January to help broadcasters meet targets set by the French Government to subtitle 100% of TV programmes by 2010. Currently, the amount of programmes which are subtitled in France varies from around 10% on some channels to over 50% on others and the majority of these subtitles are pre-recorded, rather than live. Those that are live have a longer delay in getting to screen than the subtitles that are produced in the UK. Red Bee Media's solution in France addresses these problems.
"The audience will receive accurate subtitles while M6 will be close to its subtitling target as cost-effectively as possible," added Alex Keiller.
Red Bee Media has been providing subtitles to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for over 25 years and live subtitles for 16 years. It already subtitles 95% of the programmes on BBC One and BBC Two and by 2008 will be subtitling 100% across the BBC network. Red Bee Media also provides access services for Channel 4, Five, UKTV, The History Channel and National Geographic Channel.
SysMedia has supplied Red Bee Media in France with the essential subtitling technology comprising its WinCAPS software and a broadcast data inserter. Each of the WinCAPS workstations can be used to subtitle both pre-recorded and live programmes, the latter via SysMedia's SpeakTITLE interface for fast and accurate realtime subtitling using speech recognition.