GTV9 Melbourne failed to provide accurate captions for episodes of Two and a Half Men in February, the media watchdog has discovered.
Under the Broadcasting Services Act, each commercial network must provide a captioning service for programs transmitted during primetime.
But the Australian Communications and Media Authority has upheld a complaint that captions for the US sitcom were delayed, causing problems for the hearing impaired.
A complainant told ACMA: “Channel Nine appeared to have this issue for several days, in particular the 28th of February. Nearly all programs had this issue. I contacted Channel Nine multiple times and advised them, their switchboard said they would pass it on to their technical people. In the mean time I tested the TV and used an alternative TV to check the problem was not my receiver.”
Nine initially said it couldn’t find any delay in its copies but acknowledged it had received some compaints of 3-5 seconds.
“Nine believes that even taking into account the delay, the captions were comprehensible to the hearing impaired. While the tapes do not show a delay, we do accept there was a delay in the captions.”
But it later confirmed, “The delay was evident for a substantial part of the program and some delay applied to the whole evening’s programs (excepting those programs that were captioned live).”