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Closed Captioning of Video Programming on Television General Information

Exemptions From Closed Captioning Rules

NOTE: In the event a specified video program or video provider, including distributors (i.e., broadcasters, cable providers, satellite providers) does not meet the exemption criteria in Section 79.1(d), a petition for exemption may be filed with the Commission where the requirement to close caption would be economically burdensome. This economically burdensome petition process is described  on the "Economically Burdensome Exemption from Closed Captioning Requirements webpage."  Petitions for exemption based on economically burdensome, discussed in Section 79.1(f) of the rules, must be filed with the Commission according to the instructions on the website to be considered pending. Pursuant to the Commission's rules, the programming that is the subject of the economically burdensome exemption petition is exempt while the petition is pending. There is no form for these petitions, and electronic and fax filing is not available

For additional historical information on the closed captioning rules, we encourage you to review the followings: 1997 Report and Order (R&O); the 1998 Reconsideration Order; the 2011 Memorandum Opinion and Order, Order, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ; the 2012 R&O and the Guide to Closed Captioning. Discussion about the economically burdensome petition standard and process is found in paragraphs 182-205 of the 1997 R&O and paragraphs 108-112 of the 1998 Reconsideration Order.  Further, discussion about changing the term, “undue burden” to “economically Burden” is found in 2012 R&O and paragraphs 30-37 of the 2011 Order. 

Given the high volume of inquiries we are receiving on this issue, we encourage you to closely review the material on the following pages. Since, as noted above, these rules and a phase-in process have been in effect since January 1998, these rules are not new. 

As noted above, if the video programming does not meet one of the self-implementing exemptions in the rule, found at Section 79.1(d), the only process available to seek an exemption is the economically burdensome process, found at Section 79.1(f). We generally do not grant other types of waivers.  Filing other types of waiver requests will not exempt the programming from the rules while the waiver request is pending.

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