TV captioning bill passed in Senate

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Monday, 25 June 2012 12:26pm

This morning, a bill to amend the access provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 was passed by the Senate, and now only awaits royal assent to become law. The bill enshrines in legislation a number of key recommendations of the Federal Government’s ‘Media access review final report’, which was released in December 2010.

The bill’s provisions include the following:

  • New quotas for the free-to-air networks which will see captioning on their primary channels rise to 100% of programs broadcast between 6am and midnight in 2013-2014.
  • The introduction of the first legislated quotas for subscription television. Channels will be divided into 9 categories, with captioning levels ranging from 60% in 2012-2013 (Category A subscription television movie service) to 5% in 2012-2013 (subscription television music service).
  • The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will be empowered to determine caption quality standards for free-to-air and subscription television, taking into account readability, comprehensibility and accuracy, and broadcasters will have to comply with these standards.

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