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Media Bureau Seeks Comment On Closed Captioning Of Internet Clips

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Released: December 13, 2013


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 13-2392

Released: December 13, 2013



MB Docket No. 11-154

Comments Due: January 27, 2014
Reply Comments Due: February 26, 2014

Through this Public Notice, the Media Bureau seeks updated information on the closed
captioning of video clips delivered by Internet protocol (“IP”), including the extent to which industry has
voluntarily captioned IP-delivered video clips.1
In the IP Closed Captioning Order, pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and
Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”),2 the Commission imposed closed captioning requirements
on the owners, providers, and distributors of IP-delivered video programming. The Commission
determined that the IP closed captioning rules initially should apply to full-length programming and not to
video clips, but it also stated its belief that Congress intended “to leave open the extent to which [video
clips] should be covered under this section at some point in the future.”3 Specifically, the Commission
noted that statements in the legislative history of the CVAA that Congress “intends, at this time, for the
regulations to apply to full-length programming and not to video clips or outtakes,”4 suggested that
Congress only intended to exclude video clips initially.5 Given Congress’s intent to “update the
communications laws to help ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to . . . better access video

1 See Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-First
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, 28 FCC Rcd 8785, 8803-04, ¶ 30 (2013) (“IP Closed Captioning Order on Recon and
2 Pub. L. No. 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010). See also Amendment of the Twenty-First Century Communications
and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010) (making technical corrections to
the CVAA); Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-
First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 787 (2012) (“IP
Closed Captioning Order
3 IP Closed Captioning Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 816, 818, ¶¶ 44, 48. “Full-length programming” is defined as video
programming that appears on television and is distributed to end users, substantially in its entirety, via IP. Id. at 816,
¶ 44. “Video clips” are defined as excerpts of full-length programming. Id. at 816, ¶ 45.
4 S. Rep. No. 111-386, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 13-14 (2010) (“Senate Committee Report”) (emphasis added); H.R.
Rep. No. 111-563, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 30 (2010) (“House Committee Report”) (emphasis added).
5 IP Closed Captioning Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 817-18, ¶ 48. The authors of the CVAA have expressed their support
for the Commission “reconsidering its decision to exempt video clips from the IP closed captioning rules.” See
Letter from Sen. Mark Pryor and Sen. Edward J. Markey to the Honorable Tom Wheeler, Chairman, FCC (Dec. 6,

programming,”6 the Commission stated that it may later determine that this intent is best served by
requiring captioning of IP-delivered video clips.7 Although not required by the IP Closed Captioning
, the Commission also encouraged video programming owners, providers, and distributors to
provide closed captions for IP-delivered video clips, especially news clips.8 The Commission stated that
if it finds that consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing are denied access to critical areas of
programming, such as news, it may reconsider the need for a requirement to provide closed captioning on
video clips to achieve Congressional intent.9
A coalition of consumer groups filed a petition for reconsideration of this issue.10 Shortly
thereafter, in support of their request, the consumer groups submitted a report on the state of closed
captioning of IP-delivered video programming, in which they asserted a lack of captioning of video
clips.11 Consumers expressed particular concern about the unavailability of captioned news clips.12 In an
order addressing other petitions for reconsideration of the IP closed captioning rules, the Commission
deferred a final decision on whether to reconsider the issue of requiring closed captioning of video clips,
noting that since such live and near-live programming only became subject to the IP closed captioning
requirements less than three months before the IP Closed Captioning Order on Recon and FNPRM was
adopted, the Commission expected the volume of captioned IP-delivered news clips to increase.13
Accordingly, the Commission stated that it would “monitor industry actions with respect to captioning of
video clips” and directed the Media Bureau to issue a Public Notice within six months of the release date
of the IP Closed Captioning Order on Recon and FNPRM, seeking comment on the industry’s progress in
captioning IP-delivered video clips.14 The Commission stated that, “[i]f the record developed in response
to the Public Notice demonstrates that consumers are denied access to critical areas of video
programming due to lack of captioning of IP-delivered video clips, [the Commission] may reconsider [its]
decision on this issue.”15
We now invite comment on the current state of captioning of IP-delivered video clips. What
portion of IP-delivered video clips generally, and IP-delivered news clips specifically, are captioned? Has
the availability of captioned versions of such clips been increasing? What is the quality of the captioning
on IP-delivered video clips?
We ask whether, as a legal and/or policy matter, the Commission should require captioning of IP-
delivered video clips. Commenters should explain how their positions are consistent with the CVAA, its
legislative history, and the intent of Congress to provide video programming access to people with

6 Senate Committee Report at 1; House Committee Report at 19.
7 IP Closed Captioning Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 818, ¶ 48.
8 Id. at 817-818, ¶¶ 46, 48.
9 Id. at 818, ¶ 48.
10 Consumer Groups, Petition for Reconsideration of the Commission’s Report and Order, at 1-17 (filed Apr. 27,
11 Consumer Groups and California Coalition of Agencies Serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Report on the
State of Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming, MB Docket No. 11-154, at ii-iii, 5-
13, 18-20 (May 16, 2013).
12 See id. at ii-iii, 20.
13 IP Closed Captioning Order on Recon and FNPRM, 28 FCC Rcd at 8803-04, ¶ 30.
14 Id. at 8804, ¶ 30.
15 Id.

disabilities. What are the potential costs and benefits of requiring captioning of IP-delivered video clips?
How have consumers been affected by the absence of closed captioning on IP-delivered video clips,
particularly news clips? Commenters should explain what exact steps must be taken in order to caption
IP-delivered video clips. To the extent that some entities have already captioned these clips, what
technical challenges, if any, had to be addressed? How does the captioning of IP-delivered video clips
differ from the captioning of full-length IP-delivered video programming? Similarly, what are the
differences between captioning live or near-live IP-delivered video clips, such as news clips, and
prerecorded IP-delivered video clips? If the Commission imposes closed captioning obligations for IP-
delivered video clips, should the requirements apply to all video clips, or only to a subset of such clips?
If only to a subset, what subsets would be most appropriate and what would be the rationale for excluding
We invite comment on any additional issues relevant to the Commission’s determination of
whether it should require closed captioning of IP-delivered video clips.
Interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the
first page of this document.16 Comments may be filed using the Commission’s Electronic Comment
Filing System (“ECFS”). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121
Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each
filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this
proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by
first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the
Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
o All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s
Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-
A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand
deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and
boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.
o Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
o U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445
12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.
Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will be available for public inspection
during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445

16 The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding included an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA)
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 603, exploring the potential impact of the Commission’s proposals on small entities. Closed
Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 13734, 13774-
87 (2011).

12th Street, S.W., CY-A257, Washington, D.C., 20554. These documents will also be available via ECFS.
Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.
To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print,
electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the FCC’s Consumer and
Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).
This proceeding shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the
Commission’s ex parte rules.17 Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written
presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the
presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral
ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all
persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made,
and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation
consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter’s
written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to
such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant
page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them
in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are
deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In
proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of
electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations,
and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that
proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in
this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission’s ex parte rules.
For additional information on this proceeding, contact Diana Sokolow,,
of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120. Press contact: Janice Wise,
(202- 418-8165).
- FCC -

17 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200 et seq.

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