A Major League Baseball (MLB) mobile app is creating a more inclusive experience for fans following their favorite teams.
MLB’s “Ballpark” app incorporates captions – provided by VITAC – directly into team applications, available at the touch of a button, meaning that fans who wish to read captions on their phones no longer need to visit the stadium’s guest services for a special code or ask for any accommodations.
While captioning on stadium screens and ribbon boards is fast becoming the norm, streaming those captions to a mobile app enables fans who rely on captions to follow the game on their cell phones and tablets whether they’re comfortably seated down the first base line or in the stadium concourse waiting to buy a hot dog. The app also allows those without easy visibility to the in-stadium screens to see captions and follow along.
The app allows users to access such things as team schedules, scoring summaries, stadium maps, social media updates, special offers, MLB-exclusive content, and even order food.
The San Francisco Giants, late in the 2017 season, took the first inclusive and innovative step to build captions directly into their team’s page on the app. Other teams soon followed, and VITAC-provided captions currently are available through the Giants, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, and New York Mets.
And it’s easy to use, too. Simply download the free app, choose the team you want to watch, and hit the Closed Caption button. If that team is playing, you’ll see captions on the screen. Users also can adjust the size of the caption font to their liking.
VITAC’s realtime, live captioners already create captions for a wide array of stadium ribbons boards, scoreboards, and video screens, and simply expanding and sharing those captions to the mobile app, available on-demand without the need for special requests, showcases a further commitment to accessibility for all, and improves the overall fan experience.