On March 8, 2021, the Commission released an Order and Public Notice regarding audio description. 

In the Order, the Commission granted the requests filed by Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and ESPN for exemption from the Commission’s audio description rules applicable to the top five national nonbroadcast networks.  The Commission granted these requests because Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and ESPN provide less than 50 hours per calendar quarter of prime time programming that is not live or near-live.  

In the Public Notice, the Commission provides notice of changes to the list of top five national nonbroadcast networks subject to the audio description requirements based on changes in ratings and the granted requests for exemption.  Beginning July 1, 2021 until July 1, 2024, the top five national nonbroadcast networks will be TLC, HGTV, Hallmark, History, and TBS.

Links to the Report and Order:
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-281A1.docx
PDF:     https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-281A1.pdf
Text:    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-281A1.txt 

For more information about audio description, visit:  https://www.fcc.gov/audio-description.  For specific information about this release, contact Michael Scurato, Assistant Chief, Policy Division, Media Bureau at Michael.Scurato@fcc.gov or(202) 418-2083.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432‐2275.

Updated: 
Tuesday, March 9, 2021