Hulu Agrees to Caption 100% of English and Spanish Videos

September 7, 2016 BY LILY BOND
Updated: June 3, 2019


Yesterday, Hulu and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) announced a settlement agreement wherein Hulu agreed to provide closed captioning on 100% of their full-length English and Spanish videos by September, 2017.

The Head of Experience at Hulu, Senior Vice President Ben Smith, said:

“Our number one commitment at Hulu is to create a seamless, easy-to-access viewing experience for all subscribers and this new agreement helps us reach our goal.

We are proud to work with the National Association for [sic] the Deaf to continue building a world-class viewing experience that is inclusive for all those who want to watch the best of television when, where and how they want it.”

While Hulu was an early adopter of digital closed captions, this agreement will ensure that deaf and hard of hearing viewers will receive equal and meaningful access to all content on the streaming site moving forward.

The terms of the agreement stipulate that all captions on Hulu content will comply with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) caption quality requirements for accuracy, placement, synchronicity, and completeness.

In addition to captioning all full-length English and Spanish content, Hulu has agreed to make content shown in other languages available with captions on request.

Attorney Arlene B. Mayerson, who represented the NAD in the settlement, said:

“Hulu is an integral part of the sea-change in how consumers watch TV. Captioning is another type of control consumers can — rightfully — expect and enjoy.

Hulu’s actions and commitment to making its media accessible to deaf and hard of hearing subscribers demonstrates that it is possible to fully integrate the deaf and hard of hearing community into the online entertainment marketplace.”

This is the NAD’s third captioning settlement with a major streaming site in the past 5 years: the NAD settled with Netflix in 2012 and with Amazon in 2015. Both sites agreed to caption 100% of their streaming content (by 2014 and 2017, respectively).

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