TV & Video highlights of 2014: Captions on Plus7

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Thursday, 18 December 2014 13:26pm

In April, the Seven Network’s Plus7 became the first commercial TV catch-up service in Australia to provide closed captions on its major programs.

Right hand holding remote control in front of a TV displaying multiple images

Prior to this, the only catch-up services which provided captions were the ABC’s iview (since 2011) and SBS On Demand (since 2012).The lack of captioning on catch-up and video on demand services has been a source of considerable frustration for Deaf and hearing impaired consumers in recent years, so Plus7’s introduction of them was particularly welcome news.

In the US, the issue has largely been resolved, with legislation requiring that TV programs which are made available over the internet must be captioned if they were captioned for broadcast on TV. In the UK, the Authority for Television on Demand has given the industry two years to voluntarily deliver captions or face regulation.

In 2013, Media Access Australia released a report, Captioning on Video on Demand: It's Time for Australia to Catch Up, which can be downloaded from our Video on demand page. This recommended the creation of a regulatory framework to increase levels of captioning on online video. We plan to issue an updated version of this report early in 2015.

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