After two years in federal court, Netflix, Inc. and the National Association of the Deaf have submitted a joint Consent Decree which will ensure closed captions in 100% of Netflix streaming content by September 30, 2014.
As of October 9, 2012, the date of the decree, Netflix affirmed that 82% of its streaming content was available with closed captions. Netflix must now achieve a captioned rate of 90% of its streaming content by September 30, 2013. Additionally, by 2016, new on-demand streaming content must be available with closed captions within seven days of its launch. In meeting the deadlines specified in the decree, Netflix agreed to prioritize its most highly-viewed programming for the inclusion of closed captions.
Commenting on the agreement, Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of NAD, said, “The National Association of the Deaf congratulates Netflix for committing to 100% captioning, and is thrilled to announce that 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people will be able to fully access Netflix’s Watch Instantly services.” Within Netflix, “Watch Instantly” refers to the company’s streaming content services.
Neil Hunt, Netflix Chief Product Officer, also responded positively. “We have worked consistently to make the broadest possible selection of titles available to Netflix members who are deaf or hard of hearing and are far and away the industry leader in doing so. We are pleased to have reached this agreement and hope it serves as a benchmark for other providers of streaming video entertainment,” he said.
To read the National Association of the Deaf’s announcement of the Consent Decree in its entirety, go to http://www.nad.org/news/2012/10/netflix-and-national-association-deaf-reach-historic-agreement-provide-100-closed-capti
To read the Consent Decree in its entirety, go to http://dredf.org/captioning/netflix-consent-decree-10-10-12.pdf