There are a number of challenges that make subtitling foreign news broadcasts in real time difficult to achieve.
SBS keeps across developments in this area, and the information indicates that word error rates (WERs) for machine translation currently average about 25%. The range is wide, from 8% to 40%, depending on language, however we would consider that anything above about 3%-4% would be largely unreadable or incomprehensible to our viewers. This means that at this stage, we do not believe machine translation is an option.
In order to translate live as the program goes to air we would need to be able to employ staff able to both translate and respeak, however, these are very different disciplines requiring very different skill sets. In addition, the costs to provide a human-based service across all of our foreign news broadcasts would be prohibitive.