Currently, to comply with the accessibility requirements of the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission’s (“CRTC”) broadcasting regulatory policy, broadcasters are required to caption 100% of the English and French language programming aired during the broadcast day. According to the CRTC, “television is a primary source of news, entertainment and sports programming and reflects the wide range of ideas and perspectives that are part of Canadian society.” For viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, closed captioning allows them to participate in this media by making TV more accessible. Closed captioning also helps people learning to read or speak a second language and allows for viewing when the volume on the TV is turned off, such as in restaurants and gyms. And soon, the applicability of this policy will be expanding requiring that all advertising material, sponsorship messages and promotions be closed captioned as well.
Advertisers will need to make significant investments to adhere to the captioning quality standards (e.g., speed and accuracy) developed by the television industry’s working groups and approved by the CRTC. The good news is that this requirement doesn’t take effect until September 1, 2014, so you’ve got some time. But after that date don’t think you can skirt these requirements… Telecaster says it will screen for closed captioning before it provides clearance of advertising materials and television broadcasters will require that all advertising materials delivered to them for broadcast contain the required closed captions.
The Telecaster Advisory was released on February 25th, 2013.