Just a reminder that all Video Programming Distributors — which includes broadcast television stations —  must identify a contact person for closed captioning issues, both immediate issues and general complaints, and file that contact information with the FCC by March 22, 2010.  As we’ve discussed previously, new FCC closed captioning rules recently went into effect that require video programming distributors to establish a contact for handling immediate closed captioning concerns, as well a contact for receiving written captioning complaints of a general or non-time sensitive nature.  In order to assist viewers and potentially facilitate the resolution of such captioning complaints, the rules require that video programming distributors publicize the appropriate contact information and also provide the information to the Commission, which will maintain a database open to consumers.  

Accordingly, by March 22, 2010, television stations must designate a contact person, post the necessary contact information on their web site (and in any phone directories the station may advertise in), and submit the information to the FCC.  The best way for stations to file this information with the FCC is to visit the FCC’s Web site and submit the information online. The Commission’s Web site contains a detailed form with step-by-step instructions that will walk applicants through the process.  Alternatively, the contact information can be e-mailed directly to the FCC’s Disability Rights Office at: CLOSEDCAPTIONING_POC@fcc.gov.

Video programming distributors must keep their contact information current and update both their Web sites and the Commission’s database within 10 business days of any changes to the information.  Further details about the contact information requirement and the revised FCC closed captioning complaint rules can be found in our earlier posting here