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Apply for an exemption or target reduction order

TV broadcasters may apply to be exempt from the rules or targets for captions. You need to show us why you want to be exempt. We will consult the public before we decide.

Exemptions and target reduction orders

Commercial, national or subscription broadcasters can apply for:

  • a target reduction order
  • an exemption order for a period of time

When you apply, you have to show that it causes you unjustifiable hardship to provide captions. We look at factors that include:

  • your financial situation
  • how many viewers you have
  • the impact on your viewers

The criteria for ‘unjustifiable hardship’ are in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. We publish current exemption orders and target reduction orders

When to apply

You can apply:

  • in the financial year before the first year you wish to be exempt
  • between 1 July and 31 March in the first year you wish to be exempt

How to apply

Read the guide and complete the relevant form.

After you apply, we publish a notice and a draft of the order. The public has 30 days to make a submission.

We will decide within 90 days of receiving your application. If we do not decide within 90 days, this means we will not make the order.

If we approve your application

Exemption order

Commercial and national broadcasters: you do not have to caption all programs between 6am and midnight for a period we specify (1 to 5 financial years).

Subscription TV broadcasters: the TV service that is the subject of the application is exempt from the annual target, for a period we specify (1 to 5 financial years).

Target reduction order

All broadcasters: you have to meet a reduced target for captions  for a period we specify (1 to 5 financial years).

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