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Closed Captioning of Video Programming on Television

Note: For information about closed captioning of video programming on the Internet, read the guide to Captioning of Internet Video Programming. For information about accessibility of emergency information on television, read the guide to Emergency Video Programming Accessibility to Persons with Hearing and Visual Disabilities.

Rules, Guides, and Reports

Contact Information for Distributors of Video Programming on Television

Consumers: You may search the FCC website for contact information to report closed captioning problems and to file complaints with distributors of video programming on television: http://esupport.fcc.gov/vpd-search/search.action. Please review the guide to Closed Captioning of Video Programming for an explanation of the complaint process.

Distributors of Video Programming on Television: All television broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors, including distributors that are exempt from the FCC’s closed captioning rules, must provide and maintain current contact information for consumers to report closed captioning concerns and complaints. Enter and maintain your contact information online: https://esupport.fcc.gov/vpd-data/login!input.action.

Filing a Complaint with the FCC

NOTE: You can file your complaint about closed captioning of video programming on television with the FCC by using the FCC Consumer Complaint Form 2000C online. (En Espanol.) Please review the guide to Closed Captioning of Video Programming on Television for an explanation of the complaint process.

Orders, Public Notices, Notices and Press Releases

7-2-14
Notice of Dismissals of Closed Captioning Exemption Petitions and Obligation to Begin Providing Captioning. (CG Docket No. 06-181) (DA 14-963).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

6-17-14
Closed Captioning of Video Programming/Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc./Petition for Rulemaking. Action by: Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. Adopted: 6/17/2014 by Order. (CG Docket No. 05-231) (DA 14-832).
Order: Word || PDF

Extended Comment Date: July 9, 2014
Extended Reply Comment Date: August 8, 2014

6-17-14
Notice of Dismissals of Closed Captioning Exemption Petitions and Obligation to Begin Providing Captioning. (CG Docket No. 06-181) (DA 14-823).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

6-2-14
Notice of Dismissals of Closed Captioning Exemption Petitions and Obligation to Begin Providing Closed Captioning. (CG Docket No. 06-181) (DA 14-762).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

4-22-14
Notice Of New Electronic Filing Procedures for Television Closed Captioning Exemption Requests. (CG Docket Nos. 06-181 and 05-231) (DA 14-533).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

4-3-14
Notice of Effective Dates of Closed Captioning Quality Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling, and Announcement of Comment and Reply Comment Deadlines for Related Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. (CG Docket 05-231) (DA 14-456).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

4-2-14
Notice of Dismissals of Closed Captioning Exemption Petitions and Obligation to Begin Providing Closed Captioning. (CG Docket 06-181) (DA 14-447).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-28-14
Notice of Exemption Petition Withdrawals and Dismissals and Obligation to Begin Providing Closed Captioning. (CG Docket 06-181) (DA 14-283).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-27-14
Notice of Dismissals of Closed Captioning Exemption Petitions and Obligation to Begin Providing Closed Captioning. (CG Docket 06-181) (DA 14-267).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-24-14
FCC Moves to Upgrade TV Closed Captioning Quality. New Standards - Including Accuracy, Timeliness, and On-Screen Placement of Closed Captions - Will Ensure Full Access to TV Programming for Americans Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. (CG Docket No. 05-231; PRM11CG). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 02/20/2014 by Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and FNPRM. (FCC No. 14-12).
News Release: Word || PDF
Erratum: Word || PDF
Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and FNPRM (CORRECTED): Word || PDF
Chairman Wheeler Statement: Word || PDF
Commissioner Clyburn Statement: Word || PDF
Commissioner Rosenworcel Statement: Word || PDF
Commissioner Pai Statement: Word || PDF
Commissioner O'Rielly Statement: Word || PDF

2-10-14
Request for Comment; Requests for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules.
CG Docket No. 06-181. DA 14-174.
Public Notice: Word || PDF

12-26-13
Request for Comment; Several (6) Entities’ Requests for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CG Docket 06-181. DA 13-2475.
Public Notice: Word || PDF

11-14-12
Notice of Exemption Dismissals and Obligation to Begin Providing Closed Captioning. DA 12-1833. Docket No. 06-181.
Public Notice: Word || PDF

7-20-12
Interpretation of Economically Burdensome Standard; Amendment of Section 79.1(f) of the Commission's Rules; Video Programming Accessibility. The FCC determined that the four factors contained in section 713(e) of the Communications Act will continue to apply when evaluating individual requests for captioning exemptions under section 713(d)(3) and the corresponding rules. FCC 12-83. CG Docket No. 11-175.
Report and Order: Word || PDF

4-2-12
Notice of need to file updated information with respect to pending petitions for exemption from Commission's closed captioning rules which were filed prior to October 2010. DA 12-514. Docket 06-181.
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-21-12
Notice of Exemption Dismissals and Obligation to Begin Providing Closed Captioning. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-249
Public Notice: Word || PDF

10-20-11
In the Matter of Anglers for Christ Ministries, Inc. (CGB-CC-0005), New Beginning Ministries (CGB-CC-0007), Petitioners Identified in Appendix A. Interpretation of Economically Burdensome Standard, Amendment of Section 79.1(f) of the Commission's Rules; Video Programming Accessibility. CG Docket Numbers 06-181 and 11-175. FCC 11-159
MO&O, Order, and NPRM: Word || PDF
Erratum issued 10-31-11: Word || PDF

1-18-11
Comcast Corporation Compliance with the Commission's Closed Captioning Pass-Through Rule. Consent Decree entered into between the Enforcement Bureau of the FCC and Comcast Corporation. The Consent Decree terminates investigations initiated by the Bureau regarding Comcast's compliance with section 79.1(c) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. § 79.1(c). DA 11-06.
Order Adopting Consent Decree: Word || PDF

10-25-10
The Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks to Refresh the Record on Notices of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Closed Captioning Rules. Pleading Cycle Established. CG Docket No. 05-231, ET Docket No. 99-254
Comment Date: November 24, 2010    Reply Comment Date: December 9, 2010
Public Notice: Word || PDF

5-12-10
Information for Contacting Video Programming Distributors About Closed Captioning Problems Are Now Available on the FCC Website, and Information on New Complaint Procedures for Closed Captioning and Revised Form 200C. (CG Docket No. 05-231 and ET Docket No. 99-254)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

4-27-10
Reminder to All Video Programming Distributors: Closed Captioning Contact Information is Overdue. CG Docket No. 05-231, ET Docket No. 99-254 (DA 10-715)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-16-10
The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau waives in part the requirement in amended section 79.1 of the Commission's rules that video programming distributors place certain contact information in telephone directories. Docket No. 05-231, DA 10-253.
Order: Word || PDF

12-11-09
Closed Captioning of Video Programming. The Commission temporarily stays the effective date of 47 C.F.R. Section 79.1(g)(3), relating to complaints about closed captioning of television programs, Adopted September 8, 2009. Docket No. 05-231. FCC 09-71
Order Suspending Effective Date: Word || PDF

12-11-09
Closed Captioning of Video Programming. The Commission amended the rules to permit video programming distributors to submit to the FCC through an electronic webform contact information for handling closed captioning complaints, Adopted December 4, 2009. Docket No. 05-231. FCC 09-109.
Order: Word || PDF

9-3-09
Reminder That All New, Nonexempt Spanish Language Video Programming Must Be Closed Captioned Beginning January 1, 2010; Captioning Requirements For Pre-Rule Programming Will Increase As of January 1, 2012.
Public Notice in English: Word | PDF
AVISO PÚBLICO En Español: Word | PDF

6-19-09
Closed Captioning of Video Programming. Erratum issued correcting FCC 08-255, a Declaratory Ruling, Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released November 7, 2008. (DA 09-1373), Docket Numbers 05-231 and 99-254.
Erratum: Word || PDF

5-1-09
FCC Announces Establishment of Technical Working Group to Study Digital Closed Captioning and Video Description Issues, Appointment of Members, Agenda For First Meeting. Working Group to be Focused on Matters Pertaining to Accessibility of Television Programming for Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or are Blind or Have a Vision Disability. (DA 09-995)
Public Notice: Word || PDF
Copps Statement: Word || PDF

11-7-08
Commission Addresses Closed Captioning Matters, Including Those Related to Digital Television, and Seeks Further Comment. Clarified the Commission's closed captioning requirements with regard to digital programming, simplified the complaint process, and sought comment on a closed captioning exemption for multicasting. (Docket No's 99-254, 05-231) (FCC No. 08-255)
Declaratory Ruling, Order, NPRM: Word | PDF
Copps Statement: Word | PDF
Adelstein Statement: Word | PDF
Tate Statement: Word | PDF
McDowell Statement: Word | PDF
Erratum (Released 12/3/08): Word | PDF
Erratum (Released 6/19/09): Word || PDF

8-28-07
Reminder to Video Programming Distributors and the Public of the January 1, 2008, Requirements for the Closed Captioning of English "Pre-Rule" Nonexempt Video Programming. (DA 07-3759)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

12-29-06
Obligation of Video Programming Distributors to Make Emergency Information Accessible to Persons With Hearing Disabilities Using Closed Captioning.(DA 06-2627)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

11-21-06
Extension of Comment Period on Petitions for Exemption From Commission’s Closed Captioning Rules. (DA 06-2287) (Docket No. 06-181)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

09-12-06
Anglers For Christ Ministries, Inc.; New Beginning Ministries. Granted two separate petitions for exemption from the closed captioning requirements for video programming contained in section 79.1 of the Commission's rules. (DA 06-1802)
Memorandum Opinion and Order: Word || PDF

08-07-06
Clarification of Obligation of Video Programming Distributors to make Emergency Information Accessible to Persons with Hearing Disabilities Using Closed Captioning. (DA 06-1600)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

07-20-06
Public Notice reminding video programming distributors - including broadcasters, cable operators, and satellite television services - of their obligation to make emergency information accessible to persons with hearing and vision disabilities. (DA 06-1483)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

11-17-05
Closed Captioning of Video Programming, Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. Petition for Rulemaking.
Order extending Reply Comment deadline in NPRM proceeding to December 16, 2005: Word || PDF

09-27-05
Dates set for Comments on Closed Captioning Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
News Release: Word || PDF

07-20-05
FCC Launches Review of Closed Captioning Rules.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (CG Docket No. 05-231, FCC 05-142): Word || PDF
News Release dated 07-14-05: Word || PDF
Separate Statements by Chairman and Commissioners:
Chairman Martin: Word || PDF
Commissioner Abernathy: Word || PDF
Commissioner Copps: Word || PDF
Commissioner Adelstein: Word || PDF

07-23-04
Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. (TDI), filed a Petition for Rulemaking regarding captioning quality standards (Report No. 2670) - Docket RM-11065.

01-06-04
Notice to Video Programming Distributors and the Public of the January 1, 2004, Requirementsn for the Closed Captioning of New Nonexempt English and Spanish Language Video Programming and Reminder Regarding Other Captioning Requirements. (DA 04-2)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

1-10-03
Implementation of Section 304 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996/Commercial Availability of Navigation Devices and Compatibility Between Cable Systems and Consumer Electronics Equipment.

News Release released January 10, 2003: FCC Seeks Comment on Cable-Consumer Electronics Agreement on "Plug and Play". FCC took another step forward in the transition to digital TV, seeking comment on proposed rules for "Plug and Play" cable compatibility, which is a key piece of the digital TV puzzle. (Dkt No 97-80, 00-67). (FCC No. 03-3).
[ Plug and Play News Release in Word | Plug and Play News Release in PDF ]
[ Plug and Play FNPRM in PDF | Plug and Play FNPRM in Word ]
[ Memorandum of Understanding Among Cable MSOs and Consumer Electronics Manufacturers ]

7-31-02
The Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reminds Manufacturers and the Public of July 1, 2002, Deadline for Providing Digital Television Receivers Capable of Providing Closed Captioning in a Public Notice Released July 31, 2002. (DA No. 02-1860),(Dkt No 95-176, 99-254)
[ Closed Captioning Reminder Public Notice in Word | Closed Captioning Reminder Public Notice in PDF | Closed Captioning Reminder Public Notice in Text ]

4-27-01
Home Shopping Network's (HSN)Petition for Partial Reconsideration or Clarification of the Commission's 6/15/00 Decision is Denied in a Memorandum Opinion and Order Adopted by the Commission on April 26, 2001 and Released April 27, 2001.
HSN Memorandum Opinion & Order in Text format || HSN Memorandum Opinion & Order in Microsoft Word format

3-2-01
FCC Issues a Clarification Order In the Matter of CBS Corporation Requesting Clarification of the Order of Reconsideration re: "Counting Electronic Newsroom Captioned Programming Toward Compliance of the Captioning Requirements."
Clarification Order in Microsoft Word Format Adopted 02/27/01 and Released 03/02/01.

10-5-00
Public Interest Obligations of Television Broadcast Licensees NPRM adopted 9/14/2000 and released 10/5/2000.
Paragraphs #20 and #32 specifically seek comment on disability-related issues.
28 Page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in PDF Format.
28 Page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in Microsoft Word Format.
28 Page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in Text Format.

7-31-00
Closed Captioning Requirements for Digital Television Receivers; Closed Captioning and Video Description of Video Programming, Implementation of Section 305 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Video Programming Accessibility Report and Order adopted July 21, 2000 and Released July 31, 2000.
Report and Order: Word || PDF.

7-21-00
FCC Adopts Technical Standards for Display of Closed Captioning on Digital Television Receivers.
News Release on DTV Closed Captioning released July 21, 2000.

6-19-00
Home Shopping Club (HSC) Petition for Waiver of Closed Captioning Requirements Denied in a Memorandum Opinion & Order Adopted June 15, 2000 and Released June 19, 2000.
HSC MO&O in Microsoft Word Format || HSC MO&O in Text Format

10-1-98
Order on Reconsideration on Closed Captioning and Video Description of Video Programming Released October 1, 1998.
[Order on Reconsideration in Text Format | Order on Reconsideration in WordPerfect Format | Order on Reconsideration in Acrobat Format | News Release |

8-22-97
Report & Order on Closed Captioning and Video Description of Video Programming Adopted August 7, 1997 and Released August 22, 1997.
Report & Order in Text Format

7-15-99
News Release: NPRM on Closed Captioning Standards for Digital Television. NPRM in Word Perfect Format Adopted July 14, 1999, Released July 15, 1999.

5-3-99
CBS Corporation Request for Clarification of Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. released May 3, 1999. (DA 99-822)

1-17-97
The Commission Proposes Rules for Closed Captioning; NPRM Released January 17, 1997
||Text Version of NPRM | Wordperfect Version of NPRM | News Release ||

7-29-96
Closed Captioning & Video Description, Video Programming Accessibility Report Released July 29, 1996.
|| Text Version | Wordperfect Version||

12-4-95
Closed Captioning and Video Description Notice of Inquiry Released December 4, 1995.
||Text Version | Wordperfect Version ||

  • Title 47 CFR, Part 15, Section 15.119, Closed Caption Decoder Requirements for Television Receivers". |Wordperfect Version |
  • Updated: July 3, 2014
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