FCC Tasks Editors: Create Space for Caption Placement

Due to the updated FCC guidelines and standards regarding the quality of captioning, video editors face challenges when it comes to graphic placement during their programs, particularly text-heavy programming such as infomercials.

The new law states the following: Captioning shall be view-able and shall not block other important visual content on the screen, including, but not limited to, character faces, featured text (e.g., weather or other news updates, graphics, and credits), and other information that is essential to understanding a program’s content when the closed captioning feature is activated.

In order to avoid potentially getting their show rejected by TV stations, editors have had to work hard and be extra creative so they can allow space for closed captions to be displayed without conflicting with any important visual content.

Aberdeen has worked closely with one of our infomercial clients whose programs are graphic-heavy, and at first glance, seem to not have any space where closed captions wouldn't cover important visual content. (See screenshots below)


Framing of the automobile, large lower-thirds, and placement of the monthly payment graphic do not allow room for captioning.


Framing of the automobile and on-screen talent also does not leave sufficient space for proper caption placement.

Although this was a tedious process and it required continuous back-and-forth sharing of screenshots, creating templates, etc., we were able to help our client’s talented editor to find a solution that would help prevent their program from being rejected.

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Revised lower-thirds, framing of talent, and proper on-screen graphic placement have set aside suitable room for captioning.

Our client will also be able to receive a Certificate of Closed Captioning Compliance, which Aberdeen awards to clients who meet the placement and other criteria per FCC regulations. We have provided assistance to many other clients and helped them adapt to this new law. This is a great advancement in the closed-captioning world which will improve the viewer's experience.

If you would like more information on how Aberdeen can help your programs comply with the new FCC law, please contact us.