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FCC Updates the Compliance Ladder for Closed Captioning Complaints

Last month, the FCC amended a few sections of Title 47 CFR 79.1: the rule pertaining to closed captioning of televised video programming. The amendments, specifically to 79.1(g)(1) through (9) and (i)(1) through (2), along with the removal of (j)(4), are a follow-up to the proposed reallocation of responsibilities of the Video Programmers and Video Program Distributors first established back in early 2016. The updates to the rule reflect the final decisions on how a compliance ladder will operate when handling consumer complaints related to closed captioning quality concerns.

The ruling focuses on two different scenarios based on how the consumer may approach making a complaint. The FCC recommends filing all complaints within 60 days of the problem either directly with the FCC, or with the Video Program Distributor (VPD) responsible for delivering the program to the consumer. Depending on how the complaint is filed, the review and steps taken to correct the issue should follow the steps below. Continue reading

New City Ordinance Turns on the Captions in Rochester

Rochester, NY

At a meeting on September 19th, the Rochester City Council (New York) approved a new city ordinance that will now require its local businesses to enable the closed captioning feature on televisions displayed to the public. Rochester will join only a few other U.S. cities, such as Portland, Oregon, that require all city businesses to provide this service to its patrons. Continue reading

Taking a Positive Approach to Captioning in Higher Education

Closed Captioning in Higher Education

Over the past couple of years – and after several lawsuits filed against a few Ivy League schools – a growing number of universities are working toward accessibility compliance of their online video courses. Initially, the process can be overwhelming and take up a lot of resources. One university even resorted to removing their public library of 20,000 free educational videos because of a complaint filed by the Department of Justice. Unfortunately, because accessibility requirements are often met by a big-bad lawsuit when standards are not met, the whole process gets a negative designation right from the get-go. Continue reading

Facebook Live Improves Accessibility by Adding Closed Captioning

Closed Captioning on Facebook Live

The instant popularity of live video streaming apps like Periscope, Snapchat, and Facebook Live proves that authentic, in-the-moment content effectively captures the attention of audiences worldwide. Today, one out of five videos on Facebook are broadcast live and are watched three times longer on average than non-live. Considering that more than 5% of the world’s population – about 360 million people – have some degree of disabling hearing loss, there’s a significant number of users that the social networking service cannot ignore when over 100 million hours of videos are watched a day. Continue reading

Closed Captioning Internet Video: Live & Near-live Programming


The final deadline of the FCC’s Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) pertaining to online videos is quickly approaching. On July 1, 2017, video clips (both straight-lift and montage clips) of live and near-live television programming (such as news or sporting events) will need to observe the following turnaround times for posting online with captions:

  • For clips of live programming, up to a 12-hour delay is permitted in posting a captioned clip after the programming has been shown on TV.
  • For clips of near-live programming, up to an 8-hour delay is permitted in posting a captioned clip after the programming has been shown on TV.

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Meet the Winner of Our 2017 NAB Trip Giveaway: Sean Osborne!

Our Winner, Sean Osborne!

Sean has worked in Action Sports TV production for over 17 years, supervising over 300 programs airing on networks such as FOX Sports, FUEL TV, NBC, & NBC Sports Network. He currently produces programs for the Wakeboard World Series and is the Post-Production Supervisor at Nitro Circus in San Clemente, CA. Currently, Aberdeen handles all of Sean’s NBCSN closed captioning and digital delivery.

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NRB Proclaim 17 Learning Arena Talk

Learning Arena 2017

Earlier this month at NRB Proclaim 17, we hosted a brief talk with broadcasters regarding the most updated FCC laws pertaining to closed captioning. Although it was intended as a review of the laws that are already in place, it proved that many of the laws are still not known, or unclear, to many broadcasters.

The talk was hosting at the Learning Arena located in the vendor exhibit hall. The goal of the Learning Arena is to foster true interaction between exhibiting companies and convention participants to share and connect; highlighting relevant education and training. Continue reading

Closed Captioning Internet Video Clips: “Montage Clips”


It has been a year since the FCC published updated guidelines pertaining to the closed captioning requirements for online video clips. The notice specified that excerpts of full-length video programming captioned for broadcast in the U.S. and posted via the video programming provider or distributor’s website or app would need to have captions present.

This only applied to single excerpts, or single “straight-lift clips” from a full-length program.

In that announcement, the FCC also marked January 1, 2017 as the date that this law will extend to “montages,” or edits composed of multiple single excerpts (“straight-lift clips”). For example, an hour-long talk show that aired on television may appear as multiple segments on the web afterwards – say, abridged interviews of each of the guests. Those clips, all stemming from the original full-length program, will now be expected to be captioned. Continue reading

Final Rule: Title III of the ADA Requiring Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Captioning, Audio Description

Amidst the growing number of accessibility discrimination lawsuits being filed against US movie theater chains, the Department of Justice announced yesterday that a Final Rule of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III will soon be published to enforce a nationally consistent standard. This rulemaking will provide specific requirements that cinemas must now meet to satisfy their equal access obligations to patrons with hearing and vision disabilities.

For screenings of features produced with closed captioning, movie theaters will now be required to provide caption display devices, such as Sony’s Access Glasses or Dolby’s CaptiView, to patrons who request them. The law will also require these theaters to provide assistive listening devices for any film produced with an audio description track, which contains a personal narration throughout the film. Continue reading

Regal Cinema’s Closed Captioning Glasses

Earlier this month, a team of Aberdeen caption editors took an educational field trip to the cinema! We were excited to check out Sony’s closed captioning glasses offered at Regal Cinemas. We decided to watch Hillsong’s “Let Hope Rise” documentary.

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