NBCU Supports a Video Description Rule Safe Harbor

July 2018 - Video description (VD) provides people with visual impairment access to onscreen actions and other nonverbal content that is visual and provides meaningful detail. VD rules, which took effect on July 1, 2018, require 87.5 hours of described video content per year. Comcast-NBCU suggested in a meeting with the FCC that reruns of television shows during non-prime time hours be included in the accounting of the number of hours of video-described programming compliance. For example, television series marathons such as Mr. Robot and Queen of the South that air during non-prime time hours. NBCU asserts that this would allow for as much as 1,000 hours of video-described content per quarter to be counted towards compliance. As such, NBCU wants the FCC to approve a safe harbor for cable networks, reducing their need to request a compliance waiver from quarterly to every three years. According to NBCU, “By adopting a presumptive waiver or safe harbor based on the total hours of described programming and described newly produced programming, the Commission will create the right incentives to encourage programmers to expand their video described hours without disruption to the top-rated non-broadcast networks’ established and successful business models.” [Source: Christopher Crosby, Law360]

Date of Publication: 
Tuesday, July 31, 2018


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