With stadiums being closed throughout the country, tv streaming services have become the essential way for sports fans to follow their team’s live action. As a disability access and inclusion charity, Level Playing Field wanted to investigate whether these services were fully accessible for disabled supporters, so we conducted an online ‘Streaming Services Survey’ to find out.
The survey ran from 13th Nov to 18th Dec 2020, giving an opportunity for disabled fans to share their experience of using various streaming services since the start of the pandemic. There were 238 respondents, and you can read the results of the survey in the attached survey summary report.
Here are a couple of the fans comments we received:
“The service could be improved by better actual commentary of what’s happening in the game for visually impaired people, BSL interpreters for D/deaf & Hard of Hearing.”
“Sitting at home watching is easier than going to game but not as good fun.”
The comments and scores from the survey have been shared with the streaming service providers featured, and their responses can be found in the summary document. As a charity, we know that many barriers disabled people face can be removed through effective dialogue and good practice. Our hope is that by communicating the results and comments from this survey, streaming service providers will be better informed and improvements to accessibility on their respective platforms can be made.
Level Playing Field Chair, Tony Taylor, provided the following summary: “Our survey about sports streaming services comes at a significant time for everyone interested in following live sporting events. For disabled supporters, of course, streaming of matches is hugely important as we know that being a spectator really does make a difference – even if that has to be from home rather than being there on the day.
I am delighted that we have been able to receive pan-disability feedback, a summary of which will be passed on to the streaming companies and I know that they will pay particular attention to some of the recommendations given by supporters.
It is also pleasing to see a generally positive response, as many disabled supporters tell us that they will not be returning to stadiums until the vaccine means it is safe to do so – as that may be some time away, streaming of live events is genuinely a lifeline to many.”