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Provide captions on subscription TV

As a subscription TV licensee, you have targets for captions on your programs. You need to report to us each year and keep the right records.

Simultaneously transmitted TV programs

If a subscription TV licensee transmits a program on 2 subscription TV channels at the same time and the program is captioned on 1 of the channels, the program must also be captioned on the other channel.

Emergency warnings

If a subscription TV licensee transmits an emergency warning at the request of an emergency service agency on a subscription TV service, they must transmit the whole emergency warning in text and speech, and caption the warning where practical.

Targets for different categories of programs

The targets depend on the category of program. Some targets start low and increase each year until they reach 100%.

If you broadcast a TV program with captions on any of your channels, captions must appear on any repeats broadcasts. You only need to do this for programs on the same channel.

Targets for TV movie services

Category

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

FY 2024

Category A

1st to 6th movie channels

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Category B

7th movie channel (if nominated by licensee)

80%

85%

90%

95%

100%

100%

Category C

8th movie channel (if nominated by licensee)

70%

75%

80%

85%

90%

95%

 

Targets for general entertainment services

Category

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

FY 2024

Category A

1st to 18th general entertainment channel

80%

85%

90%

95%

100%

100%

Category B

19th to 34th general entertainment channel (if nominated by licensee)

70%

75%

80%

85%

90%

95%

Category C

35th or more general entertainment channel (if nominated by licensee)

50%

55%

60%

65%

70%

75%

 

Targets for news, sport and music services 

Category

FY

2019

FY

2020

FY

2021

FY

2022

FY

2023

FY

2024

Subscription TV news service

40%

45%

50%

55%

60%

65%

Subscription TV sports service

40%

45%

50%

55%

60%

65%

Subscription TV music service

30%

35%

40%

45%

50%

55%

Targets for sports channels

You can spread your target between your channels if the shows are supplied by the same channel provider. Each individual sports channel must caption at least two thirds of the target. You still required to meet a captioning target of at least two thirds of the existing captioning target on each individual channel.

For example: For FY 2017–18, the captioning target for a sports channel is 30%. If a subscription television licensee broadcast two sports channels provided by the same channel provider:

  • the amount of captioned content must average at least 30% across both channels
  • each of the two channels must caption at least 20% (two-thirds of 30%)
  • one channel could be as high as 40% with the second channel at 20%

New subscription TV channels are excluded from targets

If you broadcast TV programs that are new to Australia, you may be excluded from the targets.

Your service may be excluded from the date you start the service until 1 July of the next financial year. That is at least one year after you start the service, up to a maximum of 2 years.

When you are no longer eligible for the new channel excluded, you need to comply with your captioning obligations, or apply for other exemptions.

Report each year that you meet the targets

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 your compliance records in the format we need.

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

Keep audiovisual records for:

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