FCC Seeks More Input On Responsibility For Closed Captioning

Needs More Input on Extending Responsibility to Program Producers

The FCC is seeking additional comment on how it should proceed if it decides to extend some of the responsibility for complying with closed captioning beyond broadcasters and TV stations to the programming's producers.

In February, the FCC adopted new rules governing closed captioning quality.

The item consisted of an order on the standards, a declaratory ruling clarifying various issues, including on VOD captioning, and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that teed up the question of just who is responsible for insuring caption accuracy, as well as whether quantitative standards are also needed.

The further notice was tied in part to the observation by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association that "The creation and delivery of good quality captions is not solely within the control of any one entity and often requires coordination and execution among many connected parties in the video delivery chain.” 

The comments the FCC sought included whether to make programmers share responsibility. In response, the FCC said, commenters raised some concerns that it wants to get yet more input on.

On Monday, Dec. 15, the FCC issued a second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking that, if it does shift some of the burden for compliance to programmers, should the FCC require video programmers to provide contact information for purposes of captioning complaints, as VPD's (video program distributors) and stations must do? And if the FCC requires that, would VPD's still be required to file independent certifications of caption quality.