Research & policy

ACMA makes no finding regarding Foxtel captioning complaint

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has made no finding in relation to a complaint made by a member of the public that an episode of Grand Designs Australia shown on Foxtel in June 2013 was only partially captioned.

Foxtel supplied the ACMA with a copy of the master recording of the program which showed that it was prepared with captions for broadcast, but did not have an “as transmitted” recording (which would have shown what the viewers saw). It had checked its records and there were no errors logged on the night of transmission, while no-one else complained about the lack of captions. Foxtel admitted that the lack of captions could have been caused by a technical fault that had remedied itself, but it was impossible to check this.


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ACMA seeks input from the public

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Australia’s media regulator, the Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA), is seeking members of the public to apply to sit on its Consumer Consultative Forum. People from diverse backgrounds, including those with disability, are encouraged to apply.

The Forum is intended to help inform the ACMA of consumers’ interests relating to telecommunications and the internet.

The announcement from the ACMA states: “We’re looking for a diverse field of representatives to help raise a wide range of consumer issues.” People representing the following consumers are particularly encouraged to express their interest:


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Telstra Pay TV applies for caption exemptions

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Telstra Pay TV has applied to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for exemptions to caption requirements for its subscription service Mobile Foxtel, which delivers 34 Foxtel channels to mobile devices.

Amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act passed in 2012 introduced captioning requirements for subscription TV services. However, the ACMA has the power to grant exemption or target reduction orders to television services if providing captions for them would cause ‘unjustifiable hardship’.


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Report looks at television access levels across Europe

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A major report commissioned by the European Commission has found that levels of captioning, audio description and signing on television vary widely across Europe, and are highest in countries which have introduced legal or regulatory obligations. 

The Study on Assessing and Promoting E-Accessibility looked at accessibility levels in three areas – web, telecoms, and television – in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU), along with four comparison countries, Australia, Norway, Canada and the US.  For each country, the study looked at two public broadcasters and two commercial broadcasters.


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