Closed Captions & Subtitles

Timed Text Specifications (applies to both Closed Captions & Subtitles)


  • All timed text MUST be Pop-on or Pop-up


  • Minimum duration: 10 frames per text event
  • Maximum duration: 10 seconds per text event (except for song lyrics or on-screen text, which may exceed 10 seconds)
  • Timed text must not remain on screen during times of silence.
  • An outpoint must be used to remove the timed text from the screen during silence or extended pauses.

Frame Gaps:

  • 2 frames minimum (regardless of frame rate)

Positional Data:

  • All timed text should be center justified / center positioned and placed at bottom of the screen unless covering text or a lower third graphic in which they should be at the top of the screen.

Reading Speed:

  • Adult programs: 400 words per minute
  • Children’s programs: 160 words per minute.


  • Text should be timed to the audio or within 2-3 frames of the audio. If more on-screen time is needed for better reading speed, the out-time can be extended up to 10 or 12 frames past the timecode at which the audio ends.


  • Text should be provided without any text effects including bolding, italicizing and underlining.

Speaker ID and Sound Effect:

  • Use brackets [ ] to enclose speaker IDs or sound effects.
  • Only use speaker IDs or sound effects when they cannot be visually identified.
  • Use a generic ID to indicate and describe ambient music (e.g., rock music playing over a stereo). Sound effects should be plot pertinent.
  • If video is a concert, lyrics must be present on screen when sung, surrounded by the ♪