Captions for Live Sporting Events

June 23, 2020 BY 3MEDIAWEB
Updated: September 20, 2023

Many people love watching sports, which is why captions for sports events are critical to making sports content accessible to all.

olympic rings

Sports shape our conversations, cultures, and even friend groups. Everywhere you go, you are bound to see a fan sporting a team jersey or hat. In fact, 63% of Americans are avid sports fans.

Getting together to watch the Superbowl or the World Cup wouldn’t be possible without sports videos on the television and online. Sports networks must caption and transcribe their content to ensure that all fans have equal access to every moment in sports history.


How to Choose the Right Captioning Vendor

What Is Important for Captions for Sports Events?

  • Legal Compliance: Federal laws in the United States, like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), require sports broadcasters to make their videos accessible. Sports videos must be live captioned when broadcasted on television and captioned when published online. In addition, any clips and montages, must also be captioned.
  • Turnaround: In sports, you can’t miss a single shot. Turnaround is critical to ensure that everyone catches each memorable moment. A captioning vendor that offers multiple turnaround times will help with the efficiency and structure of the production process.
  • Views & Engagement: Captions are helpful when watching sports either with the sound off or in a noisy place – like a bar. Furthermore, multiple studies have demonstrated that they help engage viewers and reach a wider audience.
  • Ease of Workflow: Captioning isn’t the only part of a broadcasters day-to-day duties. In fact, it shouldn’t be. An easy workflow is critical for ensuring that the whole production runs smoothly.

Common Challenges for Sports Networks

  • Deadline Compliance & Scalability: Sports broadcasters are always publishing clips, montages, and streaming full games. A lot of video is being actively produced which means it needs to be captioned in a timely manner. Finding a captioning vendor that meets deadlines – especially when working with a large quantity of video – is pivotal.
  • Accuracy: Correct sports terminology is critical for the comprehension and enjoyment of watching a game. Finding a captioning vendor that guarantees accuracy is invaluable for a sports network.

What Captioning and Transcription Features are Important for Sports Video?


    • Caption Quality: Legally, sports networks are expected to meet the guidelines outlines by the FCC for caption quality. This means that captions must be accurate, properly synchronized to the audio, complete, and placed where they don’t obstruct important visual content. At 3Play, we guarantee compliance with the FCC standards and have a measured accuracy rate of 996.%.
    • Competitive Pricing: Sports broadcasters want to find a captioning solution that promises high quality captions at a competitive price point. At 3Play Media, we guarantee high quality captions – regardless of file size or quantity submitted – at a competitive pricepoint.
    • Integrations/APIs: Integrations and APIs help streamline the captioning workflow. A good captioning vendor will work with the network to help automate the captioning workflow. At 3Play, we offer over 20+ integrations with major video platforms and can create custom APIs for custom workflows.

two pallets

  • Support: When using 3rd party vendors, a good support system is critical to ensuring you are not alone against unexpected hurdles. At 3Play, you have direct access to an account manager, our robust knowledge base, and our support team.
  • Custom Specifications: A good vendor will give sports networks the ability to customize their caption’s appearance. For example, a network may have a specific requirement for speaker IDs or music. At 3Play, you can customize your captions and provide cheat sheets describing how you want your captions to appear.
  • Vertical Placement: Vertical placement is important to ensure that the captions don’t obstruct important visual information on the screen, like the score tally. At 3Play, we offer both automatic and manual vertical caption placement.
  • Audio Description: Audio description is valuable for blind or low vision sports fans who also want to enjoy the riveting game. A vendor that offers both captioning and audio description is both attractive and more efficient for a sports network. At 3Play, we have professional describers who help capture every facial expression and play in the game.

Every fan deserves to have access to the game! Get started with captions for sports events and make your content accessible for all.


Get Started with 3Play Media

How to Choose the Right Video Accessibility Vendor ebook download

This post was originally published on October 25, 2017 and has since been updated.

3Play Media logo

Subscribe to the Blog Digest

Sign up to receive our blog digest and other information on this topic. You can unsubscribe anytime.

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy.