Albuquerque city councilors to introduce closed captioning ordinance

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Whether it’s to watch your favorite team or for a Super Bowl party, TVs can be the main attraction in a lot of bars and restaurants. But a new proposed city ordinance could affect the way you watch TV outside the comfort of your own home.

“It gives them equal opportunity and equal access to communications,” said City Councilor Cynthia Borrego.

She and fellow Councilor Klarissa Pena have introduced the “closed captioning ordinance,” which would make the owner of any TV that’s open to public viewing turn on the closed captioning.

“It’s just a simple matter of getting your remote control and changing a setting,” Borrego said.

She said the Committee for Communication Access contacted her for help, saying their main concern is if there were to be a public emergency, they would not be alerted.

It includes any place from bars and restaurants, to hospitals, gyms, and the airport. If the ordinance goes into effect, businesses could be fined up to $500 if they don’t comply.

“My initial response is there’s probably more important things they can be doing, but I’ve been here for 20 years and I’ve never had anyone ask me to turn off or turn on the closed captioning,” said Scott Bagley.

Bagley, the co-owner of Carraro’s Pizza near UNM, said most of the time they don’t even have the sound up on their TVs.

“At night time we have jukeboxes and nobody wants to hear the TV anyway,” said Bagley.

However, he says if a fine were to be imposed, they would find a way to get their closed captioning on.

The proposed closed captioning ordinance will be introduced at the next city council meeting on November 18.

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