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Economically Burdensome Exemption from Closed Captioning Requirements

(formerly referred to as "undue burden petitions")

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's or Commission's) rules provide procedures for petitioning the Commission for an exemption from the closed captioning rules when compliance with the rules would be economically burdensome. Exemptions may be granted, in whole or in part, for a channel of video programming, a category or type of video programming, an individual video service, a specific video program, or a video programming provider. A petition for an exemption must be supported by sufficient evidence to demonstrate that compliance with the closed captioning requirements would be economically burdensome, that is, the provision of captioning would result in a significant difficulty or expense.

The Commission must consider the following factors in making an economically burdensome determination:

  1. the nature and cost of the closed captions for the programming;
  2. the impact on the operation of the provider or program owner;
  3. the financial resources of the provider or program owner; and
  4. the type of operations of the provider or program owner.

The petitioner also may present for the Commission's consideration any other factors the petitioner deems relevant to the Commission's final determination, including alternatives that might constitute a reasonable substitute for closed captioning. All Petitions and supporting materials must contain a detailed, full showing, supported by affidavit, of any facts or considerations relied on.

There is no form to fill out. See the list of “Required Information to Provide in Filing a New Petition to be Exempt from the Closed Captioning Requirements” for specific information that must be provided to the Commission in a petition for an exemption from the closed captioning requirements by clicking here.

Once the petitioner provides the required information to the Commission, the petition will be placed on public notice, pursuant to the Commission's rules, and posted in the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), to permit interested persons to file comments or oppositions to the petition. Comments and oppositions to the petition are due within 30 days from the date of the public notice. All comments and oppositions must reference CG Docket No. 06-181 and contain the case identifier (CGB-CC-XXXX) for that petition. Comments and oppositions must be served on the petitioner at the address provided on the petition, and include a certification that they have been served on the petitioner.

Any reply filed by a petitioner to the comments in the record is due 20 days after the comment deadline. Replies to comments or oppositions must be served by postal mail on the commenting or opposing party and shall include a certification that the commenter was served with a copy.

An original and two (2) copies of all comments, oppositions, and replies must be filed with the Commission. Filings may be sent in accordance with the filing instructions below for petitions.

All responsive pleadings must contain a detailed, full showing, supported by affidavit, of any facts or considerations relied on.

The Commission will conduct an individual review of each petition to determine the extent to which providing captioning would be economically burdensome for the petitioner, based on information provided in the petition and any comments received.

Instructions for Filing a Closed Captioning Exemption Petition

You must send the FCC an original and two (2) copies of your closed captioning exemption petition. Filings must be sent by any of the following ways: U.S. Postal Mail, (e.g., First Class, Express Mail or Priority Mail), commercial overnight mail (e.g., Federal Express or United Parcel Service), or delivered in person by the petitioner, or via courier.

For U.S. Postal Service mail, including Express Mail, Priority Mail, and First Class Mail, please use the following address:

     Office of the Secretary
     Federal Communications Commission
     Attention: Disability Rights Office, Room 3-C438
     445 12th Street, SW
     Washington, DC 20554

For commercial overnight mail, such as Federal Express or United Parcel Service, please use the following address:

     Office of the Secretary
     Federal Communications Commission
     Attention: Disability Rights Office, Room 3-C438
     9300 East Hampton Drive
     Capitol Heights, MD 20743

Electronic filing and faxes of petitions will not be accepted at this time.

We will acknowledge receipt of your petition via postal mail. However, given delays associated with receiving postal mail at the Commission, please wait at least two weeks before contacting Commission staff to make inquiries about whether your petition has been received. After your petition is filed, you will be given a case identifier number - for example: CGB-CC-2020. You must include the case identifier number and reference CC Docket No. 06-81 on all further correspondence with the Commission regarding your petition, including any supplemental information to support your petition and subsequent pleadings in response to comments on the petition.

Please note that pursuant to Commission rules, the petition, as well as any supporting financial information provided, will be available for public inspection in the Commission's Reference Information Center and on the Commission's website. As such, petitioners should redact (remove) social security numbers and employee identification numbers from their submissions. Petitioners requesting confidential treatment of any information contained in a petition must specifically request such treatment in writing. Please note, however, that the "public version" of the petition must contain sufficient documentation to support the petitioner's claim that closed captioning would be economically burdensome.

If you have questions regarding this process, please e-mail captioningexemption@fcc.gov.

Releases

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
Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and FNPRM:
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

12-21-12 Granted the Motion for Extension of time filed by the consumer groups. Extended comment and opposition date: January 14, 2013. Extended reply comment date: February 4, 2013. Docket 06-181. DA 12-2083.
Order: Word || PDF

11-30-12 Request for Comment; Several (12) Entities’ Requests for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-1923
Public Notice: Word || PDF

11-29-12 Erratum - Request for Comment; Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB Issued an Erratum correcting Public Notice, DA 12-1729, released October 26, 2012. Docket 06-181. DA 12-1856.
Erratum: 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

10-26-12 Request for Comment; Several (21) Entities’ Requests for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-1729
Public Notice: Word || PDF

10-5-12 Request for Comment; Several (11) Entities’ Requests for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-1601
Public Notice: Word || PDF

8-9-12 Request for Comment; Several (8) Entities’ Requests for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-1309
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

7-19-12 Request for Comment; Several (2) Entities’ Requests for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-1160
Public Notice: Word || PDF

7-5-12 Request for Comment; Several (5) Entities’ Requests for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-1081
Public Notice: Word || PDF

5-17-12 Request for Comment; Van Buren First Assembly of God Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0045. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-781
Public Notice: Word || PDF


4-12-12 Request for Comment; Cedar Street Baptist Church of God Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-1132. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-578
Public Notice: Word || PDF

4-12-12 Request for Comment; Crosswalk Chapel Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-1165. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-579
Public Notice: 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 No. 06-181.
Public Notice: Word || PDF
Erratum released 4-13-12: Word || PDF

3-20-12 Request for Comment; Huntington Park Church of Christ Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0341. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-428
Public Notice: Word || PDF

3-1-12 Request for Comment; First Baptist Church, Jonesboro, Arkansas Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0303. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-322
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-23-12 Notice of Correction RE: Abundant Faith Christian Center, Case Identifier CGB-CC-0137, in Springfield, Illinois was inadvertently listed as being dismissed. DA 12-264. Docket No. 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

2-15-12 Request for Comment; Catholic Television Network of Youngstown Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0529. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-215
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-15-12 Request for Comment; Hillcrest Baptist Church of El Paso, TX Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0525. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-216
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-15-12 Request for Comment; NorthStar Community, Inc. Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0119. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-217
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-15-12 Request for Comment; Curtis Baptist Church Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0001. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-218
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-10-12 Request for Comment; World Changes Tabernacle Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0089. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-177
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-10-12 Request for Comment; First United Methodist Church - Jefferson City, Missouri Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0135. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-178
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-10-12 Request for Comment; Unionville Missionary Baptist Church Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0197. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-179
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-10-12 Request for Comment; First Lutheran Church of Albert Lea, Minnesota Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0143. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-180
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-10-12 Request for Comment; Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0270. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-181
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-10-12 Request for Comment; New Testament Church Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0537. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-182
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-10-12 Request for Comment; Archery Adventures, LLC Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0820. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-183
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-10-12 Request for Comment; Abundant Life Evangelistic Center Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-1192. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-184
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-8-12 Request for Comment; First United Methodist Church, Lufkin, TX Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0318. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-166
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-8-12 Request for Comment; Bull Street Baptist Church Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0257. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-165
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-8-12 Request for Comment; First Baptist Church Montgomery, Alabama Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0225. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-164
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-8-12 Request for Comment; Dawson Memorial Baptist Church Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0144. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-163
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-8-12 Request for Comment; Niagara Ministries Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0009. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-162
Public Notice: Word || PDF

2-8-12 Request for Comment; Main Street Living, Inc. Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-0004. CG Docket 06-181. DA 12-161
Public Notice: Word || PDF

12-6-11 Request for Comment; The Africa Channel Request for Exemption from Commission's Closed Captioning Rules. CGB-CC-1133. CG Docket 06-181. DA 11-1978
Public Notice: Word || PDF

 

Updated: April 4, 2014
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