In September 2017 the Federal Telecommunications Institute published the General Guidelines for the Accessibility of Broadcast Television Services in the Official Journal of the Federation.

The guidelines establish requirements regarding the inclusion of Mexican sign language or hidden subtitles in programmes broadcast between 6:00am and 12:00am, excluding advertisements and other broadcasts that permit accessibility services for disabled persons. The requirements apply to concessionaires that use a signal to commercially transmit broadcast TV in more than 50% of the Mexican territory and federal public entities that are concessionaires of public broadcast TV.

The guidelines establish the visual elements that will help concessionaires and federal public entities to meet the above requirements, as well as the symbols that indicate the existence of hidden subtitles or Mexican sign language. The existence of such services must be indicated with a translucent vertical bar and the corresponding symbol at the start of each programme.

Further, the guidelines establish that the above concessionaires and federal public entities are exempt from including hidden subtitles or Mexican sign language in:

  • local content;
  • programmes broadcast in foreign languages with no Interior Ministry-authorised translation; and
  • content produced by public institutions that already includes subtitles and Mexican sign language.

Hidden subtitle services must adhere to the following rules:

  • The subtitles must use correct spelling and grammar.
  • The subtitles must match the dialogue and must not substitute or paraphrase it unless required. In such cases, the meaning of the text should be consistent with the dialogue.
  • The subtitles should be displayed in sync with the dialogue, paying attention to its characteristics.
  • The subtitles should be displayed at a readable pace.

The Federal Telecommunications Institute will supervise the relevant concessionaries and public federal entities to ensure compliance with the guidelines.

The guidelines will take effect on 11 December 2018.

For further information on this topic please contact Federico Hernández Arroyo at Hogan Lovells BSTL by telephone (+52 55 5091 0000) or email (federico.hernandez@hoganlovells.com). The Hogan Lovells website can be accessed at www.hoganlovells.com.

This article was first published by the International Law Office, a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. Register for a free subscription.