Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Economically Burdensome Exemption from Closed Captioning Requirements

(formerly referred to as "undue burden petitions")

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) rules provide procedures for petitioning the FCC 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 for the petitioner.

The FCC 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 FCC's consideration any other factors the petitioner deems relevant to the FCC'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 an affidavit or a declaration signed under penalty of perjury attesting to the truthfulness and accuracy of any facts or considerations relied on in the submission.

There is no form to fill out to request an exemption.  However, all petitions must be filed electronically, in accordance with the filing instructions provided below, and must include certain information to enable the FCC to make a determination. See the list of "Required Information and Documentation to Provide in Filing a New Petition to be Exempt from the Television Closed Captioning Requirements" for specific information and documentation that must be provided to the FCC.   

Upon receipt of a petition, the FCC will send an acknowledgement to the petitioner by e-mail. The FCC will also assign a case identifier number (for example, "CGB-CC-2345") to the petition. The number for this proceeding is "CG Docket No. 06-181."  Both your case identifier number and the proceeding number must be included on all correspondence with the FCC regarding the petition, including any supplemental information to support the petition and subsequent pleadings in response to comments on or oppositions to the petition.

The FCC will make the petition, as well as any supporting information and documentation provided, available for public inspection in the FCC's Reference Information Center and through the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). Petitioners must redact (remove or conceal with black ink) sensitive information before filing their petitions and supporting information and documentation with the FCC. Sensitive information is information that petitioners do not wish to make publicly available, such as social security numbers (including portions of social security numbers, such as the last four digits), and bank account and routing numbers. The FCC will not redact sensitive information from petitioners' submissions and may reject petitions that reveal sensitive information. Petitioners may also request confidential treatment of any information contained in a petition. Instructions for requesting confidential treatment are provided below.

Once the petitioner provides all the required information and documentation to the FCC, the petition will be placed on public notice, pursuant to the FCC rules, to permit interested persons and entities to file comments on or oppositions to the petition. Comments and oppositions are due within 30 days from the date of the public notice. All comments and oppositions must be filed electronically. Instructions for filing comments and oppositions are provided below.

A petitioner may file a reply to any comments or oppositions filed. Any reply is due 20 days after the deadline for comments and oppositions. All replies must be filed electronically. Instructions for filing replies are provided below.

All comments, oppositions, and replies must contain a detailed, full showing, supported by an affidavit or a declaration signed under penalty of perjury attesting to the truthfulness and accuracy of any facts or considerations relied on in the submission.

The FCC 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, oppositions, or replies received.

Instructions for Electronically Filing a Closed Captioning Exemption Petition

As of April 30, 2014, all petitions for exemption from the television closed captioning rules (together with information and documentation supporting such petitions) must be filed electronically by sending petitions via e-mail to captioningexemption@fcc.gov. Petitions may not be filed via ECFS. At this time, the FCC's e-mail system does not accept attachments in the form of .ZIP files or file sizes larger than 13.3 megabytes. If a petitioner has concerns that its file size will exceed this limitation, please contact captioningexemption@fcc.gov. Because the FCC will upload petitions and any supporting information and documentation to ECFS, petitioners must follow the ECFS document format guidelines when submitting petitions and supporting information and documentation via e-mail.   

Instructions for Requesting Confidential Treatment

A petitioner seeking confidential treatment for any information in a petition must submit, via e-mail to captionexemption@fcc.gov, a written request for confidential treatment and two versions of the petition: (1) a confidential version that contains the full information regarding the petition; and (2) a public version that redacts any confidential information. The public version of the petition and its supporting documentation, however, must contain sufficient information to support the petitioner's claim that closed captioning would be economically burdensome. If the public version of the petition fails to contain sufficient information, the petition cannot be further processed and may be dismissed.

Instructions for Electronically Filing Comments on and Oppositions to a Closed Captioning Exemption Petition

As of April 30, 2014, all comments and oppositions must be electronically filed by e-mail to captioningexemption@fcc.gov, reference "CG Docket No. 06-181," and contain the petition's case identifier number (for example, "CGB-CC-2345"). Comments on or oppositions to the petition must include a certification that the petitioner was served by delivering or mailing a copy to the last known address of the petitioner, its attorney, or its agent, or by sending a copy to the e-mail address last provided by the petitioner, its attorney, or its agent.

Documents containing comments on or oppositions to a petition also may be filed electronically via ECFS. Any comments or oppositions that are filed via ECFS must also be filed by e-mail to captioningexemption@fcc.gov.  Comments or oppositions filed via ECFS must include "06-181" as the "Proceeding Number" and the four-digit case identifier number (e.g., "2345") as the "File Number" in this proceeding. The "ECFS Express" form cannot be used for the filing of brief comments or oppositions because filers cannot designate a "File Number"; however, brief comments or oppositions may be filed by e-mail to captioningexemption@fcc.gov.  

When an identical set of comments or oppositions is filed via ECFS on multiple petitions that have been assigned more than one case identifier number, the comments or oppositions must be filed separately for each petition/case identifier number. In this situation, a different case identifier number will have to be entered as the "File Number" for each separate filing (e.g., "2345" entered as the File Number for the first filing and "2346" entered as the File Number for the second filing and so on, even if the comments or oppositions being filed are identical to the first filing). Multiple case identifier numbers may not be entered as one "File Number."

Instructions for Electronically Filing a Reply to Comments or Oppositions

As of April 30, 2014, all replies must be electronically filed by e-mail to captioningexemption@fcc.gov, reference "CG Docket No. 06-181" and contain the petition's case identifier number (for example, "CGB-CC-2345"). Replies to comments or oppositions must include a certification that the commenting or opposing party was served by delivering or mailing a copy to the last known address of the party, its attorney, or its agent, or by sending a copy to the e-mail address last provided by the party, its attorney, or its agent.

Documents containing replies to comments on or oppositions to a petition may also be filed electronically via ECFS. Any replies filed via ECFS also must be filed by e-mail to captioningexemption@fcc.gov. Replies filed via ECFS must include "06-181" as the "Proceeding Number" and the four-digit case identifier number (e.g., "2345") as the "File Number" in this proceeding. The "ECFS Express" form cannot be used for this purpose because filers cannot designate a "File Number."

When an identical set of replies is filed via ECFS on multiple petitions that have been assigned more than one case identifier number, the replies must be filed separately for each petition/case identifier number. In this case, a different case identifier number will have to be entered as the "File Number" for each separate filing (e.g., "2345" entered as the File Number for the first filing and "2346" entered as the File Number for the second filing and so on, even if the replies being filed are identical to the first filing). Multiple case identifier numbers may not be entered as one "File Number."

Accessible Formats

To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice) or 202-418-0432 (TTY).

More Information

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

Releases

10-24-14 Request of First Baptist Church, Jonesboro, Arkansas for Exemption from the Captioning Requirements. (CG Docket No. 06-181) (DA 14-1542).
Action by: the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. Adopted: 10/24/14 by Memorandum Opinion and Order.
Memorandum Opinion and Order: Word || PDF

10-9-14 Notice of Dismissal of Closed Captioning Exemption Petition.
(CG Docket No. 06-181) (DA 14-1474).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

10-1-14 Notice of Withdrawal of Closed Captioning Exemption Petition.
(CG Docket No. 06-181) (DA 14-1421).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

9-5-14 Notice of Dismissal of Closed Captioning Exemption Petition.
(CG Docket No. 06-181) (DA 14-1237).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

7-30-14 Gerald Bryant TV, Inc. Petition for Exemption from the Closed Captioning Requirements. (DA 14-1096). Action by: the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. Adopted: 7/30/14 by Memorandum Opinion and Order.
Memorandum Opinion and Order: Word || PDF

7-30-14 First Lutheran Church of Albert Lea Petition for Exemption from the Closed Captioning Requirements. (DA 14-1095). Action by: the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. Adopted: 7/30/14 by Memorandum Opinion and Order.
Memorandum Opinion and Order: Word || PDF

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 Dockets 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
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: October 28, 2014
close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.