BBC latest to pledge to screen improved credits

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The BBC has become the latest broadcaster to announce changes to the way it displays a programme’s end credits following pressure from Equity.

Last week Sky announced it has completely overhauled its procedure for broadcasting end titles, by giving them much more onscreen space than they previously enjoyed.

Both Sky and the BBC have made their changes after Equity approached major broadcasters with its concerns about credits being squeezed into small boxes to make way for trailers for forthcoming programmes.

Now, the BBC has revealed that it has introduced a range of new commitments in light of Equity’s approach.

It said that, while it will continue to squeeze credits to allow it to promote other content, it will now always make sure that at least one episode of a drama or comedy series will feature the show’s credits in full, without being squeezed. It said this would be either the first or last episode of a series.

In addition, the Corporation has vowed not to squeeze credits for 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.”

Meanwhile, ITV has also responded to Equity’s concerns. A spokeswoman for the broadcaster said: “We have a consistent style guide that we send out for all our commissioned shows, and we design our credits so they are legible onscreen.”

It is understood that ITV has also written to Equity, and has indicated it is willing to discuss the issue with the union.

Channel 4 did not comment on how it plans to respond to Equity, which wrote to every broadcaster earlier this year, following research it conducted that indicated 89% of viewers got “very annoyed” by squeezed credits.