Captioning the NCAA March Madness Tournament a True Team Effort

by: David Titmus

By now, everyone should have completed their NCAA basketball tournament predictions. And, sure, all those hours spent researching shooting percentages and turnover ratios are certain to pay off when you become the first person to ever pick that perfect bracket.

It can happen. Keep telling yourself that.

Though there are no certainties in putting together a March Madness bracket, one thing you can count on is VITAC’s slam-dunk captioning coverage for this year’s NCAA men’s tournament games on the Turner family of networks – TBS, TNT, and truTV – as well as web feeds of the tourney on iStreamPlanet.

VITAC will provide live captions for more than 40 games (as well as pregame and postgame shows) through the regional rounds of play on TBS, TNT, and truTV, and all the way through to the Final Four and the championship game on April 8 on iStream.

Infographic noting VITAC's history captioning live sporting eventsThe tournament tips off this evening (Tuesday) with the first of four play-in games on truTV when Prairie View takes on Farleigh Dickinson and Temple plays Belmont. Captioned coverage continues Wednesday on truTV with NC Central playing North Dakota State and St. John’s hitting the court against Arizona State.

The round of 64 tips off Thursday afternoon. You can catch our realtime captions starting at 12:40 p.m. ET on truTV when No. 3 LSU takes on No. 14 Yale; at 1:30 p.m. ET on TNT when No. 5 Auburn plays No. 12 New Mexico State; and at 2 p.m. ET on TBS when No. 4 Florida State plays No. 13 Vermont.

Our realtime captioners have been “warming up” for the tournament, preparing and researching team rosters and stats and loading names and spellings into their dictionaries, which can grow to hundreds of names during the tournament as captioners need to be ready not only for their game but also for any in-game cutaways to live action happening on other courts.

VITAC’s sports supervisors and realtime coordinators also have been testing network and web connections with captioners in advance of each game, and our teams will work to keep track of game clocks as games often run longer than scheduled and typically are immediately followed by another match-up. And let’s not forget about our schedulers who are responsible for assigning captioners to each and every game! It’s a true team effort!

So don’t forget to turn on your captions if you’re watching any of the March Madness games on truTV, TBS, or TNT! And don’t worry if your bracket gets busted early, you’re sure to be in good company.