NAB Gets More Time for Caption Comments

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The FCC has given broadcasters more time to reply with comments in the commission's proceeding on what changes, if any, need to be made to its closed captioning rules. The deadline had been Nov. 25 and will now be Dec. 16.

The National Association of Broadcasters, which asked for the delay, pointed to the hundreds of comments that had been filed and the fact that the deadline was the day after Thanksgiving. The FCC said it does not routinely grant extensions, but it has been known to cut filers some slack around holidays.

TV programmers, broadcast, cable, satellite and others, are required to closed caption all new programming (post-1998 shows), as of Jan. 1, 2006, per rules the FCC passed in 1997.

Among the issues raised in a July 21 notice or proposed rulemaking was whether the FCC need to adopt non-technical standards regarding accuracy--punctuation and syntax, for example--and whether it needed to better enforce the technical standards that require stations to pass through captions intact.

That rulemaking came in response to a July 2004 petition by Telecommunications for the Deaf, asking the commission to “establish additional enforcement mechanisms to better implement the captioning rules, and to establish captioning quality standards to ensure high quality and reliable closed captioning.”

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