FCC looking deeper into closed captioning


FCCThere are questions as to who exactly is responsible for closed captioning insertion into video programming, and in turn, who is liable when there is a closed captioning failure. The FCC has therefore opened up a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Currently, video program distributors bear the brunt of the responsibility for assuring closed captioning compliance, but the captioning is usually included in a production further upstream, by the program producer, and VPDs don’t always even have an address for them, much less an answer to explain a lack of captions.

The FCC stated that it “…agreed with the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) 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 Commission wants to know if keeping contact info on video programmers at the Commission should be required, and should VPDs also meet that requirement. Further, is there any other info that should be stored and accessible, and perhaps displayed on the programmer’s website?

The FCC also has questions regarding requiring and enforcing proper standards for captioning quality.

Further, should the Commission, as one commenter suggested, place the onus on video programmers to certify quality captioning and make the certification widely available to the public?

Finally, should VPDs be required to alert new program suppliers of their need to file captioning certification with the FCC?