Mega Channel in Greece is the first private channel in the country to provide subtitles for the hard of hearing. With their teletext service already powered by a SysMedia system, it was natural for Mega Channel to turn to the company again for this unique initiative. The deal was overseen by SysMedia’s new regional partner Mediatext.
Mega Channel was the first private TV channel to be launched in Greece, and it has become hugely popular. It recently broadcast a big-budget series called The Island, based on the Victoria Hislop novel. Stathis Michail, General Manager with Mediatext, explains, “Mega Channel wanted to provide subtitles for the hard of hearing for this series. This initiative was taken because the channel believed that the series would be very successful and they were correct: it has attained more than 50 per cent viewership in Greece.”
The Hellenic Federation of the Deaf, in a letter to Mega Channel, expressed its gratitude, “The Hellenic Federation of the Deaf would like, on behalf of all the deaf and hard of hearing in this country, to sincerely thank and express its full gratitude to Mega Channel for taking the initiative and subtitling the remarkable Greek series "The Island", meeting our requests for equal access to television programming. For the first time...the deaf and hard of hearing have had the chance to watch a television series on an equal basis along with the rest of the population, especially a series which was greatly anticipated and is sure to become a reference point for Greek television.”
Mediatext installed a ProSTAR system from SysMedia, which automatically replays the subtitles to the existing SysMedia teletext inserters.
Michail adds, “There was a very tight timescale for this installation, with a working system needed in less than two weeks. SysMedia adapted its automation control to interface with the existing playout system and the whole project was completed without drama or delay. Mega is extremely happy!”
Andrew Lambourne, SysMedia CEO, says, “This project was satisfying for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s always great to see our technology deliver satisfaction to customers and to viewers. The provision of subtitles for this series has clearly proved very successful and we look forward to seeing gradual increases in subtitling elsewhere in Greece. Secondly, it’s gratifying when a customer returns to us for additional solutions. While we have worked with Mediatext in the past, to have them now as a regional partner gives us even more confidence going forwards.”
Mediatext specialises in teletext systems and services, providing complete packages – including content aggregation – to channels across Greece including Mega, Star, Sport TV and Extra 3.
Image caption 1: Mega Channel used a SysMedia ProSTAR system for a Greek subtitling first