The CRTC has put out a notice for a call for comments on a proposed Bell, Corus Entertainment and Rogers amendment that would change conditions of broadcasting described videos during prime time hours.
In the original November 2018 application, the three media broadcasters requested the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) amend the condition that requires prime time programming (7pm to 11pm) to be broadcast with described video. Specifically, the three are asking to “be allowed to air non-Canadian programs received less than 72 hours prior to broadcast without described video.”
The broadcasters note that these programs will be played again and these airings will be done with described video.
“The exception is necessary because a significant amount of U.S. content arrives without embedded described video very close to the time of broadcast and that there is insufficient time to produce or outsource described video in these circumstances,” the broadcasters argue. “Live described video is not a viable option.”
To note, a described video is a narrated description of a program’s main visual elements like setting, costumes, body language. This helps people with disabilities have access to TV programming.
The CRTC mandated by September 1st, 2019 all programming, including long-form documentary, drama and comedies, variety programming, reality TV, or any programming for preschool children (0-5 years old) and children (6-12 years old) is required to have described video seven days per week.
The deadline to submit comments is April 25th and the deadline to file replies is May 13th, the CRTC said in its announcement.