VITAC: Going for the Gold
Last Sunday, VITAC completed a spectacular two-and-a-half-week feat, captioning the entire Sochi Olympics, both for broadcast on NBC and streaming on the web. The 22nd Winter Games marks the 10th Olympics for which VITAC was chosen to provide captioning, including, most recently, London (2012), Vancouver (2010), Beijing (2008), and Athens (2004). This time, we were the exclusive caption provider, and contributed a grand total of 1,310 hours of live captioning, with a broadcast uptime of an incredible 99.97%. This includes 542 hours of broadcast captioning on networks like NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC, and USA, and 768 hours of captioning on NBCOlympics.com.
“Captioning the Olympic Games is one of the most gratifying and demanding tasks we’ve encountered in our 27 years in business, with thousands of athletes competing in 15 different disciplines,” said President Patricia Prozzi in a press release. The Olympic Games pose a unique challenge due not only to the massive volume of hours, but because of the diversity of the participants, all of whose names must be spelled correctly. Captioners spend hours researching event terminology and participant names in order to program the correct spellings into their dictionaries, a tool which allows them to spell long and complex words with just a few keystrokes.
Due to the high-profile nature of much of VITAC’s realtime captioning work, it is little surprise that network and cable broadcasters continue to trust VITAC when the world is watching.