FCC Amends Closed Captioning Rules


The FCC has amended its rules on the closed captioning of televised video programming to more clearly designate responsibilities for the delivery and quality of closed captions on video programming. Although video programming distributors such as cable systems, satellite providers and television broadcasters continue to have primary responsibility for providing closed captions on the programming they deliver, the Commission has recognized that programming creators, who frequently contract with captioning vendors to add closed captioning may bear some responsibility for poor quality captioning or a lack of any captioning on programming that is not exempt from the captioning requirement. Accordingly, the FCC will now hold video programmers responsible for captioning quality issues or the lack of captioning that is not related to the actions of video program distributors. Such distributors will be required to certify that they have exercised due diligence in determining that they are not responsible for the captioning issue before passing on a complaint to a video programmer. The Commission has revised its captioning complaint procedures to reflect the shared responsibilities of both distributors and programmers for receiving, serving and resolving television closed captioning complaints and established a “compliance ladder” to encourage companies to swiftly resolve reported problems through corrective actions that make enforcement action by the Commission unnecessary.

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