Closed captions are available on SBS On Demand for all programs and movies that aired with captions on SBS main channel that are then made available as catch up. Programs available as catch up that originally aired on one of our secondary channels such as SBS VICELAND, NITV or SBS Food are not subject to the same regulation and may not have closed captions available.
When a program has initially aired live, (eg in the case of news or sports programs), it may take up to 24 hours for closed captions to become available.
Closed captions are currently available on the website, iOS, tvOS, Android, Android TV, Fire TV, Fetch, Foxtel and Connected TV apps. Closed captions are now also enabled on all eligible content on our Telstra TV app.
Our dedicated Access Services unit always looks for ways to caption additional programming wherever possible, and SBS is working to introduce closed captions for more programs in the future.
SBS is very aware that many of our viewers rely on captions in order to enjoy our programming, however with regard to captioning, we are subject to regulation and we do operate under some budgetary constraints.
Under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, which applies to all free to air channels, all programming on a network’s main channel, must be captioned between the hours of 6am and midnight. We are also required to ensure that any content that aired with captions on our main channel retains those captions when shown on a secondary channel. In addition, all news programming on a main channel, no matter what time it airs, must be captioned. SBS always fulfils these obligations.