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Advocacy Group Hopes to Ensure Complete and Accurate Captioning

WASHINGTON On Feb. 20 of this year, the FCC issued a ruling that all television programming, including streaming services such as Netflix, must include closed captioning. In addition, all TV shows that are aired on broadcast TV and uploaded online to these sites must be captioned within 45 days.

Viki is a global site with TV shows, movies and other premium content, translated into more than 200 languages by a community of avid fans. Specifically, the order adopts quality standards for accuracy, synchronicity (timing), program completeness, and placement of closed captions. The first deadline for compliance is quickly approaching on April 30, 2014.

With this in mind, a TV-centric website called Viki, has launched the Billion Words March, a global campaign to support access to streamed TV shows and movies for 360 million people worldwide with deafness and hearing loss.

To kick off the Billion Words March, Viki has enlisted the support of actress Marlee Matlin, who is a long-standing advocate for closed captioning. Together, Viki and Matlin said they want to work to improve closed captioning and increase accessibility for online viewers in all countries and languages.

"I support Viki in this cause because they have a unique crowdsourced subtitling technology that puts the power of closed captioning TV shows in the hands of everyday people like you and me," said Matlin in a statement. "We're talking about hundreds of millions of people around the world who are deaf and hard of hearing but who deserve access to entertainment, no matter what language they speak."

Viki has encouraged people to join the Billion Words March campaign at and on Twitter via #billionwords. Supporters are also encouraged to caption TV shows and movies on Viki's loyal community in its goal to reach a billion words translated on the platform during 2014.

"Our mission at Viki has always been to bring down language barriers that stand between great entertainment and fans everywhere," said Tammy H. Nam, CMO and General Manager, Viki. "Our amazing community of fans has subtitled 600 million words to date – that's the equivalent to 50,000 novels – in 200 languages. We can't reach 1 billion words without the help of viewers everywhere, so we encourage everyone to join the effort."

Viki is a global site with TV shows, movies and other premium content, translated into more than 200 languages by a community of avid fans. With 30 million viewers each month and over 600 million words translated, Viki uniquely brings global prime-time entertainment to new audiences and unlocks new markets and revenue opportunities for content owners. Viki was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer 2014 and acquired by Japanese Internet services company Rakuten in September 2013. The company has offices in San Francisco, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo.