On September 29, 2021, the FCC, Pluto Inc., and its parent company, ViacomCBS Inc., entered in a Consent Decree to terminate an investigation into whether Pluto violated the FCC's accessibility rules pertaining to closed captioning of Internet delivered video programming.

In the Consent Decree, Pluto and ViacomCBS agree to implement a compliance plan to ensure that covered video programming that Pluto streams over the Internet includes closed captioning.  In addition, Pluto and ViacomCBS agree to pay a $3,500,000 civil penalty. The FCC also granted Pluto’s request to withdraw its petition seeking a waiver of the IP closed captioning rules.

Today’s action reflects the first consent decree and first enforcement action related to IP closed captioning rules since their adoption in 2012.

Consent Decree:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/pluto-tv-pays-35m-internet-closed-captioning-violations
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1183A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1183A1.txt

Press Release:
URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/pluto-viacomcbs-will-pay-35m-violation-accessibility-rules
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-376155A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-376155A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-376155A1.txt

Dismissal of Pluto Inc. Waiver Petition:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/media-bureau-dismisses-pluto-inc-waiver-petition
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1184A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1184A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1184A1.txt

General information about the FCC’s IP closed captioning requirements is available at https://www.fcc.gov/general/closed-captioning-video-programming-delivered-using-internet-protocol-ip.  For specific questions, please contact Amelia Brown, Attorney Advisor, Enforcement Bureau, FCC, at amelia.brown@fcc.gov. 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 (videophone).

Thursday, September 30, 2021