Comment Period Extended for Closed Captioning Rules

WASHINGTON — The FCC has extended the comment period on its proposed rules for closed-captioning on Internet-delivered TV shows. Comments are now due Oct. 2, with replies due Nov. 1.

Comments initially were due Sept. 3, with replies due Sept. 30. Several parties, including the Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Hearing Loss Association of America and others, requested a 60-day extension for comments and a 30-day extension on replies to give “consumer electronics industry members time to engage in a collaborative dialogue on the issues raised” in the related Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FNPRM, released June 14, was an amendment to the original closed-captioning Order released 18 months prior, which required broadcasters to close-caption full-length TV content redistributed online starting Sept. 30, 2012. Live and near-live programming was to be captioned by March 30, 2013, and substantially edited content will have to be captioned as of the end of next month.

The deadline for device compliance, however, was not until Jan. 1, 2014. The June FNPRM extended the compliance deadline for Blu-ray and DVD players, exempted DSLRs and allowed either rendering or pass-through. It also excluded video clips pending further fact-finding by the FCC’s Media Bureau.

August 5, 2013,
New FCC Rules Loom for Closed Captioning
“Unlike broadcast video, where every station transmits the same ATSC spec and every consumer TV set can display the closed captions carried in ATSC video, the Web is like the ‘Wild Wild West’ of video formats.”

June 16, 2013,
CC Cleanup: Device Deadlines Defined, Clips Get Punted”
The 102-page regulation triggering online closed-captioning has been amended with another 46 pages on device compliance deadlines, outtakes and how the descriptive words get to second-, third-, and screens to infinity and beyond.

August 7, 2012,Closed-Caption Mandate Nears
The fuse on the FCC mandate for closed captioning of certain webcast video material is growing short, with Sept. 30, 2012 the deadline for the first phase of implementation.

April 9, 2012
,“Closed-Captioning Closes In on Independent Producers
Over the last two weeks, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau sent out more than 230 notices seeking specific information by a date certain that will otherwise trigger the closed-captioning requirement.

Jan. 25, 2012,Churches File for New Closed-Caption Exemptions
The FCC changed the qualifications for exemptions last October, and notified 590 programmers they would have to file new petitions for exemptions granted under rules established in 2006.