ACMA, Australian Communications and Media Authority

ACMA posts captioning exemptions submissions

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has posted submissions it has received in response to preliminary caption exemption and target reduction orders granted to 10 television service providers, covering a total of 90 channels. Most of these are subscription TV services which are re-transmitting channels from other sources such as FOXTEL.

These exemption and target reduction orders relate to the new quotas for captioning on free-to-air and subscription television which were included in the Broadcasting Services Act in 2012. The ACMA has the power to grant the orders to television services if providing captions would cause them ‘unjustifiable hardship’. The closing date for applications covering 2013 onward was 27 December 2012, and the ACMA posted its reasons for making preliminary orders earlier this year. Once these were posted, individuals and organisations had 30 days to make submissions in response to them.


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Fetch TV applies for caption exemptions

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Fetch TV, a subscription service which delivers its content over the internet, has applied to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for exemptions to caption requirements for 21 of its channels, and a caption target reduction for one additional channel.

Amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act passed last year introduced captioning requirements for subscription TV services.

Fetch TV has requested exemptions for the following 21 channels:


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How to make a submission about caption quality

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has invited public comments on its new draft captioning standard. This is a perfect opportunity for people to let the government body which regulates the TV industry know what they think its priorities should be when dealing with issues relating to caption quality. Below are our tips for making submissions to the government.

  • The ACMA has issued a consultation paper which explains its approach when drafting the captioning standard. In your submission, you should focus on the questions that are asked in this paper.
  • Ensure that the points you make are relevant to the issues that the ACMA is asking you to comment on. Do you feel the approach they are proposing is the correct one, and will ensure caption quality?
  • If you think caption quality needs to be improved, try to make practical suggestions about what the ACMA could do to achieve this. 

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Top 12 of 12 #6 – changes to the Broadcasting Services Act

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An issue close to home for many of our readers is the quality and availability of captions on free-to-air and subscription TV. Good news arrived in June when the captioning provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act were amended for the first time in a decade.

There are a number of amendments to the Act which improve the accessibility of television for Deaf and hearing impaired viewers:


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