Television services reported increased captioning in 2015–16. The compliance results reflect the continued efforts by television services to meet, and in some cases exceed, their captioning target obligations.
Subscription television services (655 services and 144 unique channels in total) broadcast approximately 2.62 million hours of captioned programs in 2015–16, an increase of 89,794 hours of captioned content compared to the captioning level in 2014–15.
Approximately 99.4 per cent of subscription television services met their captioning targets and 65.3 per cent exceeded the target.
The captioning target for each category of subscription television services increases by five per cent each year until the target reaches 100 per cent. In 2015–16, the captioning target for subscription television services ranged from 10 per cent (for music services) to 80 per cent (for most movies services) of total transmission time within the year.
Free-to-air television broadcasters provided more than 0.59 million hours of captioned programs on their primary services (95 channels in total) between the hours of 6 am and midnight in 2015–16. This amounts to an increase of 5,585 hours when compared to the same period in 2014–15.
Captioned programs made up 99.67 per cent of the total hours of all non-exempt programs broadcast between 6 am and midnight on free-to-air television broadcasters’ primary television channels. This is up from 99.63 per cent in 2014–15.
Free-to-air television services captioning shortfalls were small against the 100 per cent captioning target, averaging 1.6 hours per service across the entire 2015–16 year. These shortfalls were largely caused by significant and unforeseen technical or engineering difficulties.
All of the television services that fell short of meeting the captioning target obligations in 2015–16 have taken appropriate steps to prevent similar issues happening again. Such steps have included replacing faulty equipment, improving procedures and undertaking staff training.
For more detailed information, see the Free-to-air television—annual captioning compliance results 2015–16 and Subscription television—annual captioning compliance results 2015–16.
The ACMA is required to conduct a statutory review of the television captioning requirements before 31 December 2016 and report to the Minister on the outcomes of the statutory review before 30 June 2017. For further information see Captioning statutory review webpage.