FCC Deadline for Internet Video Captions…AGAIN?

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But no need to worry about your kid’s cat surfing videos – even if they go viral!

Only programs shown on TV when re-shown on the Internet will need to be captioned, as mandated by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), and enforced by a schedule of FCC deadlines through 2016. We’ve been writing about them in our blog since March 2012.

But do take note – starting this September 30 – a new set of video programming is now required to be captioned when any distributor shows it for the first time on the Internet as follows:

Pre-recorded Video Programming that is substantially edited for the Internet must be captioned if it is shown on TV with captions on or after September 30, 2013.

Opportunities abound from adding captions to videos (of course, we’re biased), but new markets, measurable viewership, and search benefits are available such as:

  • 12% of the US population is hearing-impaired, about 40M people, so a substantial percentage of your site’s visitors will now find it more accessible.
  • 2 billion people who use English as a Second Language (ESL) welcome captions as well, especially in quiet viewing environments like offices, planes, and late-night studies.
  • 16% of American households are now bi-lingual Spanish-speakers.
  • 49% increase in completed video views – with captions vs. without captions – was measured by WETA, a PBS station in Washington, DC.

Searchable Interactive Transcripts can also easily be added to your website using our same caption technology that also boosts your site’s Search Engine Optimization.

Previous mandates, starting in 2012, for live and near-live video programming, as well as pre-recorded video programming that is not “edited for the Internet,” required captions on the Internet if the video is shown on TV with captions.

Come March 2014, archival Internet video programming that a distributor already shows on the Internet and is later shown on TV with captions will need to be captioned to comply with FCC “equivalency” standards for the hearing impaired.

So next month, we’ll have detailed information about FCC 508-compliant standards for closed captions, how to get them created at the highest quality, and make those benefits outweigh the affordable costs.

But don’t worry your beach time videos – even your 12-part video series on how-to build awesome sand castles – unless it’s been shown on TV with captions.

Hmmm… America’s Funniest Videos are you listening?

Meanwhile, here’s a list of resources for your team to research further and get ready…

FCC Releases IP Video Closed Captioning Rules:
http://www.wileyrein.com/publications.cfm?sp=articles&id=7755

FCC Adopts Closed Captioning Rules for Online Video Programming:
http://www.dwt.com/LearningCenter/Advisories?find=456109

FCC Closed Captioning Rules for Video Programming Delivered Via Internet Protocol: http://www.martindale.com/internet-e-commerce/article_Lerman-Senter-PLLC_1459200.htm

FCC 2013 Guide: Captioning of Internet Programming:                                           http://www.fcc.gov/guides/captioning-internet-video-programming

Latest FCC Report: Order on Reconsideration/Further Proposed Rulemaking (June, 14 2013): http://www.fcc.gov/document/ip-closed-captioning-order-reconsideration-and-fnprm

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  • claudealmansi

    Thank you for this very informative and most readable information! Small detail: when I used its Google + sharing button, the software added something to the link’s URL, causing a 404 “Page not found”(see the discussion in https://plus.google.com/u/0/114363009877805701055/posts/WTvzJZWqzhw ). Can your webmaster fix that, perhaps?

  • BrainLine

    Thanks for the update! Captions have worked well for our content.