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TV Closed Captioning Must be Provided Unless New Exemption Petition Is Filed

FCC says old closed-captioning exemption petitions were dismissed in April 2012

The Federal Communications Commission is informing broadcasters who filed a petition seeking an exemption from closed captioning requirements but whose petition was dismissed, that they must provide closed captioning unless they filed a new petition seeking an exemption.
On Dec. 5, 2012, the FCC posted a Federal Register notice—Notice of Exemption Dismissals and Obligation To Begin Providing Closed Captioning—saying in April 2012 the Commission issued a public notice saying current petitions for exemption from closed captioning requirements would be dismissed.
“Because considerable time had passed since many of these petitions were first filed, and various circumstances including, but not limited to, the financial status of the petitioners and the cost of captioning may have changed,” the FCC required petitioners whose petition were listed in the April 2012 public notice to undertake one of three actions by July 5, 2012. Those actions were:

  • File an affirmation with the Commission that its previously submitted petition and supporting information were accurate and up-to-date
  • File updated information in accordance with the Commission’s rules to support its claim that captioning its program(s) would be economically burdensome
  • Withdraw the previously submitted petition

The FCC said it would dismiss the petitions of those petitioners who did not take one of those actions by July 5, 2012, and those petitioners were required to begin captioning their programs on July 6, 2012.
However, petitioners whose petitions were dismissed, but who filed a new petition after July 6, 2012 can be exempt from the closed captioning requirements because the new petition is considered “pending” on the date it was received by the FCC. While a petition for exemption is pending, the video programming that is the subject to the petition is exempt from the closed captioning requirements, the FCC says.
Click here to access the Federal Register notice.