Reporting on 2013/14 annual compliance (captioning) under section 130ZZC of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992—subscription television licensees
As part of the television captioning obligations under Part 9D of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA), all subscription television licensees are required to submit an annual report to the ACMA on their compliance for each financial year. Under subsection 130ZZC(7) of the BSA the ACMA is required to publish these annual compliance reports on its website.
Please click here to view the level of captioning provided on subscription television channels/services in 2013/14.
2013/14 compliance summary
The annual captioning targets for subscription television services vary by genre and category. The target for each category generally increases by five per cent each year, until the target reaches 100 per cent. For 2013/14, the captioning targets for subscription television services ranged from five per cent (of total broadcast time over the year) for music services to 70 per cent for Category A movie services.
In 2013/14, a total of approximately 2,080,552 hours of captioned content were broadcast on subscription television services, an increase of 622,192 hours of captioning compared to the amount of captioned content in the previous financial year 2012/13.
Whilst there were 660 subscription television services in 2013/14, captioning services were required to be provided on 372 of those services (or 80 distinct subscription television channels as some channels provided by different licensees are regarded as different services under the captioning legislation).
In 2013/14 broadcasters reported the following:
- Approximately 99 per cent of subscription television services (656 out of 660) reported meeting their annual captioning target requirements for 2013/14.
- 67 per cent exceeded the target.
- All subscription television services complied with requirements to transmit emergency warnings in the form of text, speech and if reasonably practicable to do so, with captioning.
Nine in ten subscription television services (92 per cent) met all their captioning obligations for 2013/14. However, licensees’ annual captioning compliance reports also indicate the following compliance issues:
- Four services/channels failed to meet the annual captioning target. Consequently, the one licensee concerned breached the annual captioning target requirement in relation to those services/channels.
- 35 services (involving seven distinct channels) failed to provide captioning for television programs which had previously been transmitted with captions and then repeated on the same service or another subscription television service provided by the licensee (section 130ZZ of the BSA). Consequently, the five licensees concerned breached the repeat captioning requirement in relation to those services/channels.
- 15 services (involving three distinct channels) failed to provide captioning for simultaneously transmitted programs on three channels. Programs transmitted on a subscription television service have to be captioned if the programs are simultaneously transmitted, with captions, on another subscription television service provided by the licensee (section 130ZZAA of the BSA). Consequently, the five licensees concerned breached the simulcast captioning requirement.
Please click here to view further details of the above breaches and action taken by licensees towards preventing similar breaches happening again.
Steps taken to address breaches
The licensees that reported breaches of captioning obligations in 2013/14 indicated that they had taken appropriate steps to prevent similar breaches happening again, including:
- repairing or replacing faulty equipment;
- implementing technical solutions;
- staff training; and
- improved processes and procedures.
Therefore, the ACMA did not take any enforcement action in relation to these matters. This is consistent with the ACMA’s compliance and enforcement approach – a graduated and strategic risk-based approach that generally uses the minimum power or intervention necessary to achieve the desired result.
2013/14 annual captioning compliance reports from subscription television licensees