How Closed Captions Affect the TV Industry?

Closed captions have been around since the early days of television, but they have only recently become a hot topic in the industry. Many people are wondering how closed captions will affect TV viewership and the bottom line for networks and advertisers. 

In this article, we will explore how closed captions are changing the TV landscape and what that means for everyone involved in the industry.

What is Closed Captions?

Closed captions are a text version of the spoken part of a television program, movie, or another video. They are generally displayed at the bottom of the screen and can be turned on or off by the viewer. 

Closed captions can be helpful for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for those who speak a different language from the one being spoken on the video. In some cases, closed captions can also be used to provide translations of foreign-language dialog. 

Additionally, closed captions can be useful for viewers in noisy environments, such as bars or gyms, where it may be difficult to hear the audio track. In recent year, the popularity of closed captioning for videos has grown exponentially. 

According to a report from the National Association of the Deaf, 78 percent of Americans say they would like all programming to be captioned. This growing demand has been driven in part by new technology that makes it easier to create and view captions on a variety of devices. 

In the past, captions were created using a process called “open captioning,” which involved burned-in text that could not be turned off. Today, most captions are created using “closed captioning,” which allows the viewer to turn the captions on or off as desired. 

Closed captioning is required by law for all pre-recorded programming that is aired on television in the United States. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that all public accommodations, including TV networks and stations, provide closed captioning for their programs. 

How Closed Captions Affected TV Viewership?

Since the early days of television, viewers have been able to rely on closed captions to catch up on their favorite shows. Due to the fact that closed captioning making it accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing or beneficial for viewers who speak another language or who simply want to follow along with the dialog, in recent years closed captioning has become increasingly popular, thanks in part to the growing number of streaming services that offer it. 

A recent study found that 91% of respondents said they had used closed captions while watching TV, and that it had a positive impact on their viewing experience. The study found that closed captions helped viewers to understand dialogue better (26%), follow the plot more easily (24%), and appreciate the show more overall (21%). 

In addition, closed captioning can be helpful for viewers who are trying to improve their English skills. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that closed captioning is becoming more and more common.

How Many People Use Closed Captions?

Over 38 million American adults have some form of hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. As a result, many people rely on closed captioning to follow along with television programs and movies. 

In fact, a 2012 study found that 98% of people who use captions said that they would not watch a show without them. Additionally, closed captioning can be used as a teaching tool in classrooms and as a way to provide accessibility for people with learning disabilities. 

With so many people using closed captions, it is clear that this technology plays an important role in modern life and that is one of the reasons why many movie theaters are now offering captioning options

What the Future Hold for TV Closed Captions?

As the demand for closed captioning continues to grow, it is likely that we will see even more changes in the way that captions are created and displayed. For example, some companies are working on developing “live captioning” technology that would allow viewers to see captions in real-time, rather than waiting for a pre-recorded show to be captioned. 

In addition, there is a growing movement to make sure that all videos are captioned, not just those that air on television. This includes online videos, which are often viewed without sound, as well as videos that are shown in public places like airports and waiting rooms. 

As more and more people become aware of the benefits of closed captioning, it is likely that we will see even more widespread use of this technology in the future.


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The collective team of Parlé Magazine. Twitter: @parlemag

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