On April 29, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on TBS’s petition for limited waiver of the requirement to provide 87.5 hours of audio described programming per calendar quarter. WarnerMedia is requesting this waiver for TBS, because the audio description re-run rule does not adequately count the full quantity of audio description aired by TBS. This waiver request is similar to that sought by NBC-Universal for USA Network in 2019, with two clear differences.
TBS pledges to air at least 1,000 hours of described programming each quarter, equal to that of USA Network. In addition, TBS pledges to average more than 1,400 hours of described programming per quarter over the waiver period.
Second, USA Network agreed to audio describe more than 75% of original programming. In 2019, this was before Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, and WarnerMedia’s own HBO Max agreed to audio describe 100% of their original content. As a result, WarnerMedia has pledged that TBS will describe 100% of newly produced, non-live programming aired between 6:00 a.m. and midnight ET within three business days of its receipt from a production company.
Finally, if granted the limited waiver, WarnerMedia commits that it will describe 100% of newly produced, non-live programming aired between 6:00 a.m. and midnight ET within three business days of receipt on TNT and TruTV, TBS sister networks, which are not subject to the Commission’s audio description requirements.
ACB encourages all interested parties to file comments in support of the TBS waiver request. Comments are due by June 1, 2021; and reply comments are due by June 14, 2021. The FCC Public Notice and comment filing instructions for the TBS waiver request are available at: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/1033117341846. When filing comments, please include docket number MB: 11-43. If you need assistance filing comments, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FCC Public Notice and comment filing instructions for the TBS waiver request are available at: