Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Broadcasting Services (Television Captioning) Standard 2013

Authoritative Version
  • - F2013L00918
  • In force - Superseded Version
  • View Series
Standards/Other as made
This instrument establishes minimum standards relating to the quality of captioning services provided for television programs by commercial television broadcasting licensees, national broadcasters, subscription television broadcasting licensees and subscription television narrowcasting licensees. This will ensure that captioning services are meaningful to deaf and hearing impaired viewers.
Administered by: Communications and the Arts
Made 24 May 2013
Registered 05 Jun 2013
Tabled HR 06 Jun 2013
Tabled Senate 17 Jun 2013

The AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY determines this Standard under subsection 130ZZA(1) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

 

Dated      24th May 2013

 

Chris Chapman
[signed]
Member

Richard Bean
[signed]
Member/General Manager



 

1     Name of Standard

This Standard is the Broadcasting Services (Television Captioning) Standard 2013.

 

2     Commencement

This Standard commences on the day after it is registered.

         

          Note: All legislative instruments and compilations are registered on the Federal         Register of Legislative Instruments kept under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.      See http://www.frli.gov.au.

 

3     Object of Standard

The object of this Standard is to specify mandatory requirements for broadcasters and narrowcasters that relate to the quality of captioning services, to ensure that captioning services are meaningful to deaf and hearing impaired viewers.

4     Definitions

In this Standard:

Terms that are defined in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 have the same meaning as in that Act, unless the contrary intention appears.

Act means the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

broadcaster means a commercial television broadcasting licensee, a national broadcaster or a subscription television broadcasting licensee.

captioning obligations means the legislative obligations under Part 9D of the Act that require:

(a)       commercial television broadcasting licensees and national broadcasters to provide a captioning service for programs transmitted under subsection 130ZR(1) of the Act;

(b)       commercial television broadcasting licensees and national broadcasters to provide a captioning service for programs transmitted on their respective multi-channelled commercial or national television broadcasting services under section 130ZS of the Act;

(c)       broadcasters and narrowcasters to transmit a minimum percentage of hours of captioned programs per year under sections 130ZT, 130ZU and 130ZV of the Act; and

(d)       subscription television licensees to provide a captioning service for programs transmitted on a subscription television service under sections 130ZZ and 130ZZAA of the Act.

captioning service means a service in which captions are provided for programs, that enable the viewer to follow the speakers, dialogue, action, sound effects and music of a program.

captions means the visual translation of the soundtrack of a program in English, in word form.

distinct program segment within a television program means a distinct segment that is unrelated to other program segments within that same television program.

 

narrowcaster means a subscription television narrowcasting licensee.

 

program includes:

 

(a)  a television program; and

(b)  a distinct program segment within a television program.

 

5     Quality of captioning services

Broadcasters and narrowcasters must, when providing a captioning service in accordance with their captioning obligations, comply with the requirements relating to quality in this Standard.

 

Note: In exercising its enforcement powers under the Act, the ACMA takes the position that a program that does not meet the requirements of section 5 of this Standard will not be eligible to be used by a broadcaster or narrowcaster to comply with its captioning obligations.

6     Determining the quality of captioning services

(a)  Subject to paragraph (b), when determining the quality of a captioning service for a program, the captioning service must be considered in the context of the program as a whole.

(b)  When determining the quality of a captioning service for a program that is a distinct program segment within a television program, the captioning service must be considered in the context of that distinct program segment on its own.

(c)  When determining the quality of a captioning service, the cumulative effect of the following factors must be considered:

(i)         the readability of the captions;

(ii)        the accuracy of the captions; and

(iii)       the comprehensibility of the captions.

 

7     Readability of captions

(a)  When providing a captioning service for a program, broadcasters and narrowcasters must use captions that are readable.

(b)  When determining whether captions are readable, the following factors  must be considered in the context of the program as a whole:

(i)         whether colour and font is used in the captions in a way that makes them legible;

(ii)        whether the caption lines end at natural linguistic breaks and reflect the natural flow and punctuation of a sentence, so each caption forms an understandable segment;

(iii)       whether standard punctuation of printed English has been used in the captions to convey the way speech is delivered;

(iv)      whether the captions are positioned so as to avoid obscuring other on-screen text, any part of a speaker’s face including the mouth and any other important visuals where possible; and

(v)       whether the captions are no more than three lines in length.

8     Accuracy of captions

(a)  When providing a captioning service for a program, broadcasters and narrowcasters must use captions that accurately recreate the soundtrack of a program.

(b)  When determining whether captions accurately recreate the soundtrack of a program, the following factors must be considered in the context of the program as a whole:

(i)         whether spoken content has been captioned;

(ii)        whether the captions of spoken content are verbatim;

(iii)       where it is not possible for the captions of spoken content to be verbatim, whether the captions reflect the actual meaning of the spoken content;

(iv)      where the intended target audience of a program is children and the captions are not verbatim, the extent to which the captions take into account the intended audience;

(v)       whether the manner and tone of voice of speakers has been conveyed, where practical and material; and

(vi)      whether sound effects and/or music, material to understanding the program and not observable from the visual action, have been accurately described.

 

9     Comprehensibility of captions

(a)  When providing a captioning service for a program, broadcasters and narrowcasters must use captions that are comprehensible.

(b)  When determining whether captions are comprehensible, the following factors must be considered in the context of the program as a whole:

(i)         whether the captions clearly identify and distinguish individual speakers, including off-screen and off-camera voices;

(ii)        whether the captions are displayed for a sufficient length of time to allow the viewer to read them and follow the action of the program;

(iii)       the extent to which the appearance of the caption coincides with the onset of speech of the corresponding speaker, sound effect or music;

(iv)      the extent to which the disappearance of the caption coincides with the end of the speech of the corresponding speaker, sound effect or music;

(v)        whether the words used in the captions have been spelt correctly;

(vi)       where a word is not spelt correctly, whether the spelling provided        nevertheless conveys the meaning of the actual word;

(vii)      whether explanatory captions are provided for long speechless           pauses in the program;

(viii)    the extent to which a caption over-runs a shot or scene change; and

(ix)      the extent to which the appearance or disappearance of the caption, as the case may be, coincides with the relevant shot or scene change.