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FCC Releases Closed-Captioning Quality Standards Guide

Last week, the FCC released a guide summarizing TV closed captioning quality standards (accuracy, synchronicity, completeness, and placement). The guide includes best practices and discusses how TV stations must monitor and maintain their equipment and signal transmissions associated with closed captioning, perform technical equipment checks, take any corrective measures necessary to ensure that captioning is passed through to viewers intact, and keep records of these activities for a minimum of two years.

The Guide focuses on two orders adopted in 2014 and 2016 regarding captioning quality. In the 2014 Captioning Quality Order, the Commission adopted captioning quality standards and technical compliance rules to ensure that video programming is fully accessible to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing through the provision of closed captioning. In the 2016 Captioning Responsibilities Order, the Commission allocated responsibility for the quality of closed captioning between VPDs and video programmers, making each entity responsible for closed captioning issues that are primarily within its control.

The guide serves as a good reminder to TV stations of their closed captioning obligations and may be downloaded here.

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