The following article was written by our CEO, Hiren Hindocha, and originally appeared on The Broadcast Bridge here.
This year’s FCC mandate on closed captioning need not be seen as yet another weight on broadcasters’ backs. Implemented as part of an automated system or outsourced to a qualified provider, adding accurate and immediate closed captions is another way for viewers to search and find your content.
TV broadcasters in the U.S. looking to re-run live programming online must implement the same closed captioning on their online video. Effective January 1st, 2017, the FCC regulation mandates closed captioning for all video montage clips that are published over the web if that same programming was captioned when shown live on TV in the U.S.
And effective July 1st, all live and near-live programming that runs online must be captioned if that same program included closed captions when broadcasted. A 12-hour delay is permitted for online clips after the live programming first ran on TV and the same has been set at 8 hours for near-live programs.
To provide the best possible viewer experience and comply with FCC guidelines, captions must be in perfect sync with the video. Imagine a sports highlight clip where captions lag behind the video by 10-15 seconds, as is the norm with manually produced broadcast captions for live news, sports, etc.