Super Bowl LVII marks a significant milestone in accessibility as the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the National Football League (NFL), and the FOX Broadcasting Company have announced that this year’s event will be fully captioned for the first time, including captions for all national commercials and promotions. This move towards greater inclusivity reflects a growing recognition of the importance of accessibility in media. While the Super Bowl has been captioned for years, this marks the first time that captioning on commercials will reach 100%. According to a survey conducted by access advocate Sean Zdenek, 75% of commercials during last year’s Super Bowl were captioned. The NAD has praised the NFL and FOX for achieving this important milestone, stating that it represents progress towards achieving 100% television and internet accessibility.
This development is particularly significant considering the Super Bowl’s status as the most-watched television event of the year in America. With a massive audience tuning in, the provision of comprehensive closed captioning ensures that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can fully engage with the broadcast, including the commercials that are an integral part of the Super Bowl experience.
At Cinepros, as an industry leader in closed captioning and subtitling services, we applaud this move towards greater accessibility. Ensuring that all viewers, regardless of hearing ability, can enjoy the Super Bowl experience is a commendable step towards fostering inclusivity in media.
Beyond the technical aspects, the provision of closed captioning at events like the Super Bowl holds significant cultural importance. Television and film play crucial roles in cultural dissemination, and closed captioning ensures that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are included as valued audience members. Live captioning of sporting events can be especially challenging due to the fast pace of the dialogue, as well as the amount of players’ names being constantly mentioned (Be honest, could you spell Brandon Aiyuk, Isiah Pacheco, or L’Jarius Sneed on the fly?). Captioners prepare for weeks leading up to the big game to ensure that all the teams’ players (plus many others) have been programmed into their glossaries.
As Super Bowl LVII approaches, the dedication of captioning professionals ensures that football truly becomes a sport for all. With high-quality closed captioning, every viewer can share in the excitement of the game, making this year’s Super Bowl a truly inclusive event.