Free-to-air TV

Complaints

Before lodging a complaint

Make sure that the problem you are experiencing is not caused by poor reception (scrambled captions on more than one channel are a typical example of this). For more information, go to the captioning problems section of this website.

How to lodge complaints

When making a complaint about captions, make sure you give enough information for the network to investigate it properly. You should


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Government forms Working Group on AD for TV

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The Turnbull Government has set up a new taskforce with the aim of improving TV accessibility. They have announced the formation of an Audio Description (AD) Working Group to examine options for increasing the availability of AD services in Australia.

Man wearing headphones listens to AD on TV

Man wearing headphones listens to AD on TV


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High compliance in TV captioning during FY 2015–16… but more needs to be done.

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At last, some good news on the captioning front. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reported in late December 2016 of a high level of compliance with captioning targets during the 2015-2016 financial year. However, their reporting period did not cover the back end of last year which saw multiple captioning issues emerge on the ABC and other networks, which proves more work needs to be done.

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

ACMA advised on 21 December 2016 that TV services reported increased captioning in 2015–16, with compliance results reflecting the continued efforts by television services to meet, and in some cases exceed, their captioning target obligations.


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Progress with accessibility needed in New Zealand

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121 students took over New Zealand’s Parliament to debate about ‘Accessible Web Pages and Apps’. This was a mock bill aiming to improve accessibility in NZ.

Close up of person in a lecture browsing their laptop


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Channel 4 seeks viewer feedback about its accessibility services

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Channel 4 has created a survey to capture as much feedback as possible from people who view their programming with captions (subtitles in the UK), audio description, signing on TV, or on the station’s on-demand service.

Channel 4 logo


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New Zealand holds an inquiry into captioning

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New Zealand’s Government Administration Committee has announced an inquiry into captioning, and is seeking submissions from the public.

Remote control being pointed at a TV with captions at the bottom of the screen

The inquiry’s terms of reference include:


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More than 2,300 people have signed to legislate closed captioning in NZ

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On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 19 May 2016, the New Zealand Captioning Working Group submitted a petition to Mojo Mathers, Green MP, with more than 2,300 signatures in a bid for the House of Representatives to legislate closed captioning across all relevant media. 

A Woman holds and points a remote control at a TV screen


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Audio description on ABC iview now available on FreeviewPlus

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The trial of audio description on the ABC’s iview, which commenced in April, has now been extended to FreeviewPlus. Previously, it was only available in iPhones, iPads, Android devices and desktop computers.

ABC iview in focus on the 'Catch up' menu in FreeviewPlus. Image credit: Freeview.com.au


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Ofcom releases fourth caption quality report

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has released its fourth and final report into the quality of live captioning on television.

Ofcom: Measuring live subtitling quality. Results from the fourth sampling exercise


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US city makes captions compulsory on public TVs

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All television sets in public places in Portland, Oregon, will need to have closed captions switched on during business hours, after the Portland City Council passed a new ordinance last week.

Neon sign reading "Portland, Oregon, Old Town" lit up at dusk

The rule will apply to bars, restaurants, gyms and other public spaces. It was welcomed by advocates for the deaf, who argued that deaf patrons could miss important news items, particularly in emergencies.


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