Our Goal: Making the FIFA World Cup Accessible for All

by: David Titmus

The 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup – the single biggest tournament for the single biggest sport on the planet – begins today (June 14) in Russia as 32 national teams play 64 games for one championship trophy.

The 2018 World Cup might be missing some big nations – Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States didn’t make this year’s tourney – but there still are lots of storylines to play out on the pitch. Can Argentina, France, or Spain knock off defending champion Germany? Will Brazil rebound from a disappointing 2014 showing? Will this be the year that England breaks through?

Of course, there is no question about the quality of captions VITAC will provide for all the games (and select pre-game and post-game shows) broadcast on Fox and Fox Sports 1, as well as Spanish-language captions for live matches on Telemundo and NBC Universo and rebroadcasts on Fox Deportes.

Our realtime captioners are prepping for the matches, having researched team rosters and stats and adding names and spellings into their dictionaries; our sports supervisors and realtime coordinators test network and web connections with captioners before each contest; and our realtime schedulers assign captioners for each match.

World Cup 2018 infographicFox plans to air 38 of the 64 matches live on the broadcast network, more than the previous four World Cups combined and the most ever for an English-language network. The remaining 26 matches will air on Fox Sports 1. VITAC will be captioning more than 200 hours of World Cup soccer action this month alone.

The World Cup continues VITAC’s impressive run of providing captions for this year’s biggest sporting events, including the Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games, the Super Bowl, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs and Winter Classic.

The tournament opens today with host Russia taking on Saudi Arabia, and wraps up July 15 with the final. Early group-play highlights include Portugal vs. Spain (June 15, 2 PM ET on Fox), Argentina vs. Iceland (June 16, 9 AM ET, Fox), Germany vs. Mexico (June 17, 11 AM ET, FS1) and England vs. Belgium (June 28, 2 PM ET, Fox).

The knockout stages begin June 30.