FCC Denies Closed Captioning Exemptions

Zomboo's House of Horror Movies, Your Sunday Worship and the Norm Prouty Real Estate show are just some of the programs that the FCC has given 90 days to closed caption.

The FCC June 2 dismissed 16 petitions by program producers, mostly of religious programming, who had asked to be exempted from requirements that they closed caption their programming. Closed captions are ones that can be turned on and off.

The FCC provides an exemption from the rules if the captioning would be "economically burdensome."

The FCC did not conclude whether the captions would be burdensome, but instead said that those 16 petitioners did not provide all the requisite follow-up information requested by the commission after its first review of the requests, and that they had been put on notice that failure to do so would result in dismissal.

They now have 90 days to come in compliance with the rules.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.