Closed Captioning Required on Web Videos
Closed captioning allows persons with hearing disabilities to have access to television programming by displaying the audio portion of a television program as text on the television screen. Beginning in July 1993, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required all analog television receivers with screens 13 inches or larger sold or manufactured in the United States to contain built-in decoder circuitry to display closed captioning. As of July 1, 2002, the FCC also required that digital television (DTV) receivers include closed captioning display capability. — Federal Communications Commission
General requirement: The CVAA required the Commission to revise its regulations to require the provision of closed captioning on IP-delivered video programming that was published or exhibited on television with captions after the effective date of the regulations.
Obligations of video programming owners (VPOs)
o Each VPO must send program files to VPDs with required captions, with at least the
same quality as the television captions provided for the same programming.
o If a VPO provides captions to a VPD using the Society of Motion Picture and Television
Engineers Timed Text format (SMPTE-TT), then the VPO has fulfilled its obligation to
deliver captions to the VPD in an acceptable format.
Obligations of video programming distributors and providers (VPDs)
o Each VPD must enable the rendering or pass through of all required captions to the end
user, maintaining the quality of the captions provided by the VPO and transmitting
captions in a format reasonably designed to reach the end user in that quality.
o A VPD that provides applications, plug-ins, or devices in order to deliver the video
programming must comply with applicable device requirements discussed below.
o The new rules require VPDs to make contact information available to end users for the
receipt and handling of written IP closed captioning complaints. The required contact
information includes the name of a person with primary responsibility for IP closed
captioning complaints and who can ensure compliance with the rules, as well as the
person’s title or office, telephone number, fax number, postal mailing address, and e-
mail address. VPDs shall keep this information current and update it within 10 business
days of any change.
Mechanism for information on video programming subject to the CVAA
o Each VPO and each VPD to which the VPO has provided or will provide video
programming for IP delivery must agree upon a “mechanism” that will inform the VPD
of which programming is subject to the IP closed captioning requirements on an ongoing
o VPDs must make a good faith effort to identify video programming subject to the IP
closed captioning requirements using the agreed upon mechanism.
o A VPD may rely in good faith on a certification by a VPO that the video programming
need not be captioned if:
The certification includes a clear and concise explanation of why captioning is
not required; and
The VPD is able to produce the certification to the Commission in the event of a