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Provide captions on free-to-air TV

Commercial and national broadcasters have to provide a certain amount of captions and captions must meet quality standards. You need to report to us each year and keep the right records.

As a commercial or national broadcaster of free-to-air TV, you must caption all:

  • programs on your main channels from 6am to midnight
  • news and current affairs programs you show at any time
  • programs you repeat on your main channel or multi-channel if the initial broadcast had captions

When you do not have to provide captions

You do not have to provide captions for:

  • programs in languages other than English
  • advertisements
  • programs that consist only of music
  • catch-up TV programs

Applications to be exempt or have a reduced target must be granted before you fail to meet your captioning obligations.

Report each year that you meet the rules

Each year you must report to show us you comply with the rules. We publish these reports.

Submit your report no later than 90 days after the end of the financial year.

Records you must keep

You must keep records about your compliance. These records must meet basic requirements.

Keep written records for 90 days after you submit your report to us.

Keep audiovisual records for:

If you fail to meet your captioning obligations, you can explain the circumstances in your annual compliance report.

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