“This page is a digitally archived AccessInfo Announcement”

On July 12, 2017, the FCC adopted new rules to ensure Americans who are blind or visually impaired have access to more video described programming.  Video description, also called audio description, allows people with limited vision to hear a description of on-screen activity while also following the dialogue, providing a more complete entertainment experience.

Beginning in July 2018, broadcasters and pay-TV providers carrying one of the top networks must provide 87.5 hours of described programming per calendar quarter, which is an increase of 75 percent over the 50 hours per quarter presently required.  Currently, the broadcast networks covered by the rule are ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the non-broadcast networks are Disney Channel, History, TBS, TNT, and USA.  This list will be updated next year to reflect the top five nonbroadcast networks as of July 1, 2018 (as determined by Nielsen ratings).

Links to the Press Release:
URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-expands-video-description-rules
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-345757A1.docx
PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-345757A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-345757A1.txt

Links to the Order:
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-17-88A1.docx
PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-17-88A1.pdf
Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-17-88A1.txt

For further information about the item, please contact Will Schell, CGB/DRO, (202) 418-0767, email Will.Schell@fcc.gov.  For those using videophones and fluent in American Sign Language, you may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at 844-432-2275 (videophone).

Updated: 
Tuesday, October 22, 2019