Closed captions are a text representation (in English) of a program’s soundtrack, to help make content accessible to Deaf and hearing-impaired audiences. Broadcasters are required to comply with rules and standards relating to captioning television programs in Part 9D of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, and the Broadcasting Services (Television Captioning) Standard 2013 (you can access these documents at www.legislation.gov.au/).
SBS is required to:
- Caption all English language programs broadcast between 6am and midnight on SBS.
- Caption all English language news and current affairs programs broadcast on SBS.
- Where programs have broadcast with captions on SBS, all future transmissions on SBS VICELAND, SBS Food, SBS World Movies or NITV, will be broadcast with captions.
- Where a program is premiered with captions on SBS VICELAND, SBS Food, SBS World Movies or NITV, all future transmissions on any other SBS multi-channel will air with captions.
If you believe that SBS has breached its captioning obligations, you can submit a complaint in writing to SBS within six weeks of the broadcast. For the complaint to be investigated, the complainant is required to:
- Identify themselves (provide name, address, email address)
- Identify the program (as much information about the program broadcast, including the date and time and the channel)
- Provide make and model information of the device on which they viewed the program.
- Outline the nature of the complaint.
Complaints can be submitted to SBS by:
Post: SBS Captioning Complaints, Locked Bag 028, Crows Nest, NSW
SBS will respond to your complaint within 30 days. If SBS has not responded within this timeframe, or you consider SBS’s response to your complaint inadequate, you can raise the matter with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).