Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Closed captioning of television programs will end on 30 September 2001. After that date, only those who pay extra for the service will be able to use it.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2000]
Origins: There are no plans to eliminate closed captioning of television programs or to charge consumers for the service in the USA.
In accordance with a law established by the Federal Communications Commission in 1998, 100% of all new programming (and 75% of "old" programming) must be closed captioned by
In any case, there is no central body that could charge viewers for captioning services, nor any means of collecting such fees. If captioning were offered on a fee basis, how would such a system be implemented? Viewers would have to be provided with additional equipment in order to ensure that those who used closed captioning (and only those who used it) were charged for it. Who's going to distribute and maintain this equipment, collect the fees, and parcel out the money to the participating broadcasters? (Any attempt to impose charges for captioning services would probably be challenged under the Americans with Disabilities Act anyway.)
No, closed captioning is here to stay, unless and until it's replaced by something better. This is an issue that's important to me personally, as my own hearing is impaired, and my ability to watch television would be greatly limited if closed captioning were to go away.
Last updated: 16 December 2007
This material may not be reproduced without permission.
snopes and the snopes.com logo are registered service marks of snopes.com.