2014-15 was the first year that all non-exempt programs broadcast on free-to-air primary channels between 6 am and midnight had to be captioned. The free-to-air television compliance report found that 92 of the free-to-air television services achieved between 99.75% and 99.99% of this target. Captioning shortfalls were approximately four hours across the year for each channel. The remaining three free-to-air services all exceeded their reduced targets of 90%.
Annual captioning targets for subscription television services vary by genre and category, and in 2014-15 ranged from 5% to 75%. The subscription television compliance report found that 644 out of 647 services, or 99.5%, met their targets.
The ACMA found that in most cases shortfalls were caused by unforeseen technical or engineering difficulties. Broadcasters have reported that they have taken steps to address these issues.
“These are very good results for the free-to-airs and subscription TV,” said Chris Mikul, Media Access Australia’s Project Manager for Television. “They show the importance of a robust reporting system which makes clear to consumers – and to all the television services themselves – the level of caption compliance across the industry.”
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