Saturday, August 17, 2013

CW Seed Launches Without Captioning!

This past week, a new online-only network was launched by the CW, a traditional broadcast network. The new online-only network is called CW Seed. It launched on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at with no closed captioning!

The CW Seed launch has received much publicity:

NY Daily News:
LA Times:,0,901999.story
Hollywood Reporter:

But how much publicity they got is not why this is important! According to that NY Daily News article linked above:

"If everyone watched on the Internet, that model would be dismantled.
That’s one reason broadcast networks are looking to get into the online distribution game themselves."

The new CW Seed is airing the third season of a popular web tv show, Husbands. This show was captioned on YouTube but now the third season is exclusive to CW Seed. With no captions. This is not the only show on CW Seed, but is an example of why it is so important now to speak up and demand captions!

The video player being used at CW Seed does not appear to support closed captioning. There is no visible CC button or option to turn on subtitles. When you right-click, this "about" information pops up:

So it appears they are using a customized Adobe Flash Player provided by a company called Digitalsmiths. At it does not say that their video player supports closed captioning, but it does say that their video player has subtitles capability.

This could be the first of a wave of new online only networks launched by parent traditional TV broadcasters. It is IMPORTANT to speak out NOW to prevent them from launching without including closed captioning in their planning.  We MUST make an example of the CW Seed network and force them to add closed captioning. Tweet @cwseed OR post/message !!!

This is proof of why we need that 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act UPDATED to require professional online tv efforts to have closed captioning!

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