New Zealand: Introducing Live TV Captioning of Rio2016 on Prime TV

Are you getting excited about one of the greatest sporting events on earth?

Recently TVNZ OneNews ran a story about new captioning technology that will help make the Olympic Games TV coverage in New Zealand more accessible for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing. You can watch the video here (captioned). or read a summary here.

Want to know more?

Q – When will the details of what will be captioned be released?

A – As soon as possible! Stay tuned.

Q – Who is paying for the Rio Games to be captioned?
A – The National Foundation for the Deaf has underwritten $200,000. This enables live captioning/broadcasting equipment to be bought and installed, and for captioners to create the live captions at the not-for-profit Able Trust. The Captioning Working Group have launched a fundraising campaign to recoup these funds for the National Foundation for the Deaf.

Q – Why did the Captioning Working Group take action?
A – Until now, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities have been missing the full enjoyment of major sporting events because of the lack of captioned access. The Captioning Working Group lodged a New Zealand Human Rights complaint in relation to the lack of captioning for the Rugby World Cup and have been actively campaigning for captioning for the Olympics for some time. No live broadcast captions were available for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, 2015 Cricket World Cup or 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Q – What is the Captioning Working Group?
A – The New Zealand Captioning Working Group (CWG) is a collaboration of Deaf Aotearoa, The National Foundation for the Deaf and the Hearing Association New Zealand and have been working together for over 4 years to improve media accessibility across the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities

Q – Are broadcasters required to provide captions in New Zealand?
A – No. There is no legislation in New Zealand requiring broadcasters to caption. We recently submitted a petition to parliament to ask for this legislation to be introduced. “Instead of the channels having to pay for the captioning themselves, as is usual around the world, all captioning is paid for by the government’s broadcasting funding body, NZ On Air, so the levels depend on the funding allocated to them” (Media Access Australia, 10 July, 2016).

Q – Is any additional funding being provided by the government or Sky television to provide captioning for the major national event Olympics?
N – Not that we are aware of

Q – Will all the Olympic coverage shown on Prime TV be captioned?
A – No. We are working with Able & Sky TV (owners of Prime) to make the most of the funds

Q – What can I do to help?
• Make a $3 donation. Text GOLD to 4847 or donate online
• Share our fundraising video far and wide
• Stay in touch – Like, comment & share our Facebook page
Make a submission to the Parliamentary Enquiry into captioning in New Zealand (submissions closed 28 July 2016)

Q – What did the additional funding from NZ On Air pay for last year on Prime TV?
A – The technology announced last year was for pre-recorded content only (ie not live TV)

Q – Will the equipment be able to be used following the Olympics?
A – Yes, we expect that Prime will have the ability to broadcast live captions for the first time. This could lead to the introduction of live captioning on Prime for Prime News for example but we cannot confirm this. Sky (owners of Prime TV) own the broadcast rights for Olympic coverage through 2024.

Q – Is Prime TV a nationwide free-to-air channel?
A – Yes, all New Zealanders are able to access it without subscription

Q – Will the captions created for the games be available on demand? (Prime TV/ Sky on demand)?
A – Not that we know of. We would love a New Zealand on demand service with captions!

Q – Will the captions created for the games be available on pop up channels or Sky subscriber channels?
A – Not that we know of

Olympic Rings