As we have previously reported, the FCC's rules require the
closed captioning of certain video programming delivered via
Internet Protocol (IP) if the programming is first aired on
television with captions. The rules have taken effect on a
phased schedule of compliance beginning last fall: As of
September 30, 2012, stations have been required to display closed
captioning forfull-lengthprogramming delivered via IP if that
programming was first closed captioned on a broadcast platform on
or after April 30, 2012.
Beginning March 30, 2013, the next phase of
deadlines will take effect. As of that date, all "live" and
"near-live"full-length programming must be captioned when it is
delivered via IP if it airs on television with closed captions.
Stations should ensure that they have equipment and procedures in
place to provide closed captioning for "live" or "near-live"
full-length program that is streamed on their station websites or
otherwise distributed via IP.
It is important to understand that, for purposes of these rules,
"live programming" is defined as "video programming that is shownon
televisionsubstantially simultaneously with its performance," and
"near-live" is defined as "video programming that is performed and
recorded less than 24 hours prior to the time that it was first
airedon television." Thus, the terms "live" and "near-live"
refer to the programming as it airson television, and not only as
it is distributed on the Internet. So, for example, where a
full-length program is streamed live on the web and simulcast on
television with closed captions, it is subject to the March 30,
2013, deadline. In addition, a full-length program that is
aired live on television with closed captions (such as a newscast)
and then, later, posted on the station's website as a full-length
program, is also subject to the March 30, 2013, deadline because it
aired live on television (even though it is not streaming live on
Under the rules, a full-length program is defined as "video
programming that appears on television and is distributed to end
users, substantially in its entirety, via IP."
Video clips and outtakes from the programming that appeared on
television are excluded from this definition.
The next phase of deadlines for the Internet closed captioning
rules will take effect on September 30, 2013. For more
information about the Internet closed captioning rules, please
refer to our Legal Reviews dated March 6, 2012, and June 19,