Ready for Some Football: Live Captions Make Games More Accessible

By: Laura Swanson

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Are you ready for some football? Ready or not, summer is coming to an end, and that means football season is barreling toward us faster than a running back with a clear field racing towards the end zone.  

Though fans are anxiously anticipating the start of the season (NCAA football kicks off on Aug. 27, while the NFL starts action on Sept. 8), college and pro teams already have been practicing and preparing these past few weeks at training camps and mini-camps across the country. 

People watching captioned television in a sports bar

And VITAC has been preparing in the off-season, too. VITAC captioners have been researching rosters, coaching staffs, venues, mascots, and announcers for each game. You might say we’re the real superfans, making sure we know details about every team whose games we caption. Captioners also obtain starting line-ups and — since injuries are a regular part of the game — depth charts for each team. From there, the information and research is loaded into customized dictionaries that captioners can use for the game to ensure that names, locations, and sports terms are all captioned correctly, even when following rapid-fire play-by-plays or crosstalk from announcers.

VITAC schedulers and sports supervisors also play an essential role in game-day prep. They work to ensure that captioners are available for each game and secure the lists of proper network connections. 

VITAC’s coordinators also prepare in advance. Coordinators work to establish and test multiple IP and encoder connections before the game, ensuring any issues get worked out before kick-off. Once games are underway, they also monitor start and finish times to make sure we don’t miss a single play or minute of pre-game coverage or post-game wrap-up. 

Preparing for and captioning live sporting events is nothing new for VITAC. As the leading captioning company in North America for the past 36 years, VITAC has been proud to make events like the Super Bowl and the Winter and Summer Olympics more accessible to viewers everywhere. And this fall, we’ll be providing captions for hundreds of pro and college games across multiple networks.

And while captioning for TV is a large part of what we do, we’re also proud to provide live stadium captioning for both NFL and NCAA games. 

Denver Broncos at Empower Stadium playing a preseason game with in stadium captions playing on the stadium ribbon board

 Win or lose, rain or shine, at home or in the stadium, like a good windbreaker, VITAC captions have you covered. Go team!