The Federal Communications Commission released a reminder that as of January 1, 2023, the audio description rules adopted in the Commission’s 2020 Audio Description Order will go into effect in the following designated market areas (“DMAs”):

  • Madison
  • Waco-Temple-Bryan
  • Harlingen-Welasco-Brownsville-McAllen
  • Paducah-Cape Girardeau-Harrisburg
  • Colorado Springs-Pueblo
  • Shreveport
  • Syracuse
  • Champaign and Springfield-Decatur
  • Savannah
  • Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City and Dubuque

The Audio Description Order expanded the number of DMAs required to install equipment for audio description. Audio description provides better accessibility of programming to blind and visually impaired people by inserting narrated descriptions of a program’s visual elements in breaks in a show’s dialogue.

As part of its reminder, the FCC reiterated that programmers can request accessible formats such as Braille, large print, electronic files, and audio format from the FCC by emailing or calling the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530.

For more information, programmers can review the FCC’s page on audio descriptions. If you have questions about these rules and what they mean for your station, contact your FHH attorney.