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Credit where it's due

TV creditsEquity has secured a significant victory in its campaign for TV credits.

The union has campaigned since 2004 against onscreen credits being squeezed, a practice we believe can harm the employment prospects of members.

Equity approached all the UK broadcasters on this issue and Sky were the first company to respond positively to our views.

After hearing Equity's concerns, Sky conducted a survey of its subscribers and found that three-quarters of its own viewers believe that readable credits are important.

Sophie Turner Laing, managing director of entertainment at Sky, said: “When Equity raised the issue of end credits with us, it was important to address their concerns comprehensively and quickly. We spoke to our customers, and their suggestions were instrumental in shaping the changes that we have made to end credits on all our channels. It’s clear that this is an important issue to Equity members and our customers alike, and we’re delighted to have implemented a new strategy onscreen that works for everyone.”

Following Sky's fresh approach, Channel 4 and S4C have followed suit, while the BBC has now pledged to make sure at least one episode per series will feature the show's credits in full. Plus, ITV has contacted Equity to discuss how it displays credits.

The latest phase of Equity's campaign involved asking members and TV audiences what they feel about squashed credits. 10,000 people responded and their views made alarming reading for any broadcaster. Just
2.2% believed that credits are unimportant for viewers. Even fewer (1.1%) thought they are not important for actors. Only 7.8% liked having on-screen information about the next programme while the credits are running, a massive 95.2% disliked split-screening and squeezing credits, only 3.8% thought online credits are a good substitute and 88.7% got very annoyed at the way credits have become unreadable.

The report of the survey was sent to key people in broadcasting. Download the survey at https://www.equity.org.uk/documents/credit-where-its-due/

Read more on this issue from BBC News and The Stage.

Equity's forthcoming 'Review of the Year' magazine will contain an interview with Sophie Turner Laing from Sky.