Beijing 2022: NBCU To Provide Closed Captioning, Audio Description, and Web Content Accessibility for Winter Olympics, Paralympics
NBCUniversal’s Winter Games coverage will be more accessible to viewers of all abilities than ever before, providing the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Beijing 2022 through closed captioning, audio description, and digital content accessibility. As previously announced, NBCU will present a Winter Olympics-record 2,800+ hours of coverage across NBC, Peacock, USA Network, CNBC, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app from February 2-20.
In addition to providing closed captioning for all Olympic and Paralympic events airing across NBCU’s broadcast and cable networks, NBC Olympics will provide closed captioning for all digital livestreams – which was made available in full for the first time ever during last summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Closed captioning provides text of the coverage audio for viewers who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
Audio description services, in which broadcast audio is interspersed with skilled voices describing Olympic and Paralympic scenes and context, will be available for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. For the Olympic Winter Games, all competitions aired during primetime hours and Prime Plus, along with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, will include live audio description on the Secondary Audio Program (SAP) channel, provided by Descriptive Video Works. For the Paralympic Games, NBC Sports will provide live audio description for all broadcast programming, including those aired outside primetime hours, as well as on all simulstreams.
Viewers can use #NBCOlympicsA11y and #NBCParalympicsA11y on social media to share with others or provide feedback on closed captioning or audio description to NBCUniversal.
Additionally, improved web content accessibility, including keyboard navigation, color contrast and support for screen readers, will be available on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.
“Ensuring that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are available to be enjoyed by the widest possible U.S. audience is core to our mission,” says Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics. “For our coverage of the Beijing Games, providing an unprecedented number of hours of accessibility for a Winter Olympics is another important step in accomplishing that goal.”
All of this audio description and closed captioning will be available to Comcast Xfinity customers who experience the Games on the Xfinity X1 platform, including on the live Olympic Games coverage delivered in 4K, on Xfinity Stream, and on Xfinity Flex.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games are an opportunity for us all to be inspired by the extraordinary achievements of the world’s best athletes,” says Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President of Accessibility at Comcast. “It is an honor to partner with our colleagues at NBC Olympics to deliver our most inclusive Olympic and Paralympic viewing experience ever, and to share those stories of resilience and sportsmanship with the widest possible audience.”
NBCUniversal will provide coverage of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games from Feb. 2-20. The Opening Ceremony will be presented on Friday, Feb. 4, live in the morning and again in primetime on NBC and Peacock. Similar to recent Winter Games, NBC’s primetime Olympic coverage begins the night before the Opening Ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 3. Coverage begins on Wednesday, Feb. 2, on USA Network and Peacock. NBCUniversal is presenting its 18th Olympic Games, 12th consecutive overall, and sixth straight Winter Games, all the most by any U.S. media company.