Netflix pledges to caption all content by 2014

October 10, 2012 - 6:35 PM

BOSTON (AP) — Netflix will offer closed captions on all TV and movie content by September 2014 as part of a settlement with a deaf Massachusetts viewer who sued the company.

The on-demand Internet streaming service agreed to the settlement Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

Closed captions are currently available on 90 percent of Netflix's content, as measured by hours watched.

"Netflix has always been the leader in this, but it's a tall order to offer high quality captioning on such a broad range of devices," spokesman Jonathan Friedland said.

In the meantime, the company will display a list of available close-captioned content.

Captions can be displayed on a majority of the more than 1,000 devices, from computers to video game consoles, on which Netflix is available. But many devices and operating systems, such as Google's Android, did not exist when the company gained traction in the early 2000s.

Massachusetts resident Lee Nettles, along with national and regional associations for the deaf and hearing impaired, sued Netflix in 2010 under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability.

Other online streaming providers, including Hulu and Amazon, also have been trying to increase their captioned programming.