Churches Fear New FCC Rules Will Hurt TV Ministry

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The Federal Communications Commission has made closed captioning a requirement for small and medium sized television ministries.

Prior to the change, smaller religious broadcasters were not required to provide closed captioning -- which deaf and hard of hearing individuals now say causes an inconvenience.

The churches were granted FCC exemptions under a 2006 decision known as the "Anglers Order," named after the Anglers for Christ Ministries program that argued for exemption from the closed captioning rules.

Now, the FCC is sending letters to about 300 churches this week, notifying them that they will now have to make the necessary changes to provide closed captioning.

The churches who want to continue being exempt must reapply within 90 days, proving that obtaining closed captioning is unaffordable.

Some of the small religious broadcasters fear this could force them to end their programming.

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