New close-caption rules in place

As of Jan. 1, new FCC rules require that broadcasters and cable operators close-caption at least 1,350 hours of new English language programming per quarter, or all of their nonexempt English language programming, whichever is less.

The FCC reminded broadcasters that the January 2004 benchmark is the last before the final benchmark of January 1, 2006, when 100 percent of all new nonexempt programming must be captioned.

With regard to new nonexempt Spanish language programming, between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2006, the FCC said 900 hours of such programming must be closed-captioned per channel per quarter, an increase from 450 hours, 11 leading to the final benchmark of 100 percent of new nonexempt Spanish language programming starting January 1, 2010.

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