The wrong kind of captioning!

All sorts of shows that aren’t broadcast live use real-time captioning – because it’s cheaper. Or they use scrollup captioning on shows that shouldn’t use it, like dramas and comedies – because it’s cheaper.

You’ve probably seen this yourself – shows you know aren’t live that use real-time captioning, and other shows that need pop-on captions but use scrollup captions.

We’ve seen everything from 30-year-old “classic” football games to late-night talk shows with real-time captions. (Those programs aren’t live.)

Why does any of this happen? Because broadcasters – who have millions of dollars available to run their channels and start new ones, and sometimes have billions on hand to buy each other out – want to save money on captioning. They view your legal right to accessibility of programming as a “cost centre.” They resent having to pay so much as a dime for captioning. They got in this business to make programming and sell advertising, not to serve the deaf.

And there are no independent standards banning the improper use of real-time or scrollup captioning.

And now we’re doing something about it

We’ve had it up to here with the misuse of scrollup captioning on programming where it doesn’t work (like dramas and comedies, music programming, and subtitled shows). March 2009 is Assault on Bad Captioning (ABC) Month at CAPTIONING SUCKS!, and we begin a (possibly lengthy) campaign to stamp it out – and we’re kicking it off in a way you’d expect, with a Facebook group.