What Are Closed Captioning Rules For Online Television?

Closed captioning is a service that allows people with vision disabilities to follow the spoken words on TV shows and movies. While closed captioning is not required by law, it is increasingly becoming the norm for online television providers to offer the service. In this article, we will discuss the different rules for closed captioning for online television and how to comply with them.

What are closed captioning rules for online television?

Closed captioning is a process of translating written text into alternative formats, such as audio or video, for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. In order to provide closed captioning for online television programs and other video content, there are particular rules that must be followed.

The first step in providing closed captioning for online television programs is to determine the language of the program. This can be done by using an automated machine translation service or by human review. After the language has been determined, the captions need to be created. There are two types of closed captioning:

  • Program-level captions
  •  Channel-level captions.                                                                                        Program-level captions will appear below the video image on screen while channel-level captions will appear within the video stream itself.

In order to facilitate the process of creating captions, many online television providers have dedicated captioning platforms. These platforms allow producers to add captions directly to their videos, eliminating the need to export them to another application and then import them back into the platform. Additionally, many online television providers offer live captioning as part of their streaming services. This means that viewers can interact with the captions while watching the program, which can be helpful for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

What is a closed captioning file?

Closed captioning files are used to store the text of closed captions for television programs. Each file has a specific name, such as “CAPTION.TXT”, and is associated with a particular episode of a TV show. When a viewer wants to watch a particular episode of a TV show with closed captions, they need to load the appropriate closed captioning file for that episode.

How to create a closed captioning file for online television

There are a few things you need to know when creating a closed captioning file for online television.

  • The file should be in the same format as the video it is accompanying. This means that it should use the same codec, frame rate, and resolution. The easiest way to do this is to use the same software to create the file and to view it on the same device.
  • Closed captioning files should be as small as possible. This will reduce the amount of bandwidth needed to send them over the internet
  • Closed captioning files should be processed as quickly as possible. This means that they should not be stored on the server for long periods of time.

When does your video need closed captioning?

Closed captioning is a legal requirement for online television programs that are distributed through the internet. The rules vary depending on the type of program, but most online television programs must include closed captioning if they are to be accessible to people with disabilities.

Online television programs must meet specific requirements in order to be distributed through the internet. First, the program must be made available in a format that can be streamed or downloaded. Second, the program must include a transcript of the dialogue and accompanying audio files. Third, the program must be captioned in English for people with disabilities.

There are certain exceptions to these rules. For example, closed captioning is not required for programs that are specially made for children or designed for educational purposes. In addition, closed captioning is not required for certain religious programs or shows that are primarily intended for entertainment purposes.

What happens if you don’t include closed captioning on your video?

If you create a video and do not include closed captioning, YouTube may disable your account if it finds that your video is not complying with its closed captioning rules. This means that people who are deaf or hard of hearing may not be able to watch your video, and people who are blind may not be able to access important information in the video.

YouTube has specific rules about how closed captioning must be displayed on videos. For example, closed captioning must be displayed below the video frame, it must be in a standard font size, and it must be legible from a distance of at least 50 feet. If you violate any of these rules, your account may be disabled.

If you want to ensure that your videos include proper closed captioning, we recommend that you hire a professional transcription company to transcript your footage and then have an editor review the transcript to make sure that all of the captions are properly placed and formatted.


Closed captioning is a system that adds subtitles to television programs so that deaf and hard of hearing viewers can understand what is being said. Unless you are watching live television, chances are you will not need closed captioning. However, it is still a good idea to be aware of the rules governing closed captioning in order to avoid any potential copyright infringement issues. In general, closed captioning should be displayed whenever there are significant dialogue changes or if the scene contains new information that would benefit the deaf and hard of hearing viewer.