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FCC Requires Closed Captioning Of IP-Delivered Video Clips

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Released: July 11, 2014


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.

See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



July 11, 2014

Janice Wise (202) 418-8165




New Rules Will Require Captioning of Certain Online Video Clips Beginning in 2016

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission today approved new rules that will

require closed captioning of video clips that are posted online. The new rules further the purpose of the

Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) by helping to

ensure equal access to all forms of programming by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing when

they watch video content online.

Specifically, the rules extend the Commission’s IP closed captioning rules adopted in 2012, which cover

full-length videos online, to video clips if the original programming was shown on television in the

United States with captions. The new rules apply to video programming distributors that air

programming – including broadcasters and cable and satellite distributors— on television and then post

clips of that programming on their own website or via their own mobile app.

The new rules do not extend

to third party websites or apps.

Compliance deadlines vary based on the type of video clip. Specifically, a deadline of:

January 1, 2016, will apply to “straight lift” clips, which contain a single excerpt of a captioned

television program with the same video and audio that was presented on television;

January 1, 2017, will apply to “montages,” which occur when a single file contains multiple

straight lift clips; and

July 1, 2017, will apply to video clips of live and near-live television programming, such as news

or sporting events. Distributors will have a grace period of 12 hours after the associated live

video programming was shown on television and eight hours after the associated near-live video

programming was shown on television before the clip must be captioned online in order to give

distributors flexibility to post time-sensitive clips online without delay.

Finally, the requirements do not apply to video clips that are in the distributor’s online library before the

applicable compliance deadline because compliance for this category of video clips is considered to be

economically burdensome.

The Commission also issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that asks for comment on

four related issues, including:


Application of the IP closed captioning rules to the provision of video clips by third party

distributors not subject to today’s Order;

Whether to decrease or eliminate over time the grace periods that apply to video clips of live and

near-live programming, as technological advancements facilitate the prompt online posting of

such clips with captions;

Application of the IP closed captioning requirements to “mash-ups,” which are files that contain a

combination of one or more video clips from captioned programming that has been shown on

television along with other content (such as online-only content) that has not been shown on

television with captions; and

Application of the IP closed captioning rules to “advance” video clips, which are those that are

added to the distributor’s online library after the applicable compliance deadline but before the

video programming is shown on television with captions, and which then remain online.

Action by the Commission July 11, 2014, by Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed

Rulemaking (FCC 14-97).

Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel issuing

separate statements.

Commissioner Pai concurring and issuing statement.

Commissioner O’Rielly

approving in part and concurring in part and issuing statement.

For further information, contact Diana Sokolow (202-418-2120; Press contact:

Janice Wise (202-418-8165;


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