Programmers Seek Captioning Exemptions


Turns out that the FCC's closed captioning requirements are proving an "undue burden" for a lot of broadcasters.

From the Harmony Hill Baptist Church to the L.A. school system--with a lot of churches in between--providers of TV content, particularly ones without deep pockets, are peppering the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau weekly with requests for exemptions.

As of Jan.1, 2006, all new, non-news English-language programming was required to be closed captioned, with some narrow exceptions, including "when compliance with closed captioning rules would pose an undue burden."

There is also a narrow exemption for "locally produced and distributed non-news programming with no repeat value," but most of the parties are going after the undue burden exemption, which includes logistical difficulties or extraordinay expense.