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Captioning for Live Events

Any video played during a live event or webcast needs captions. The role captioning plays in live events falls into two different categories.

Live event captions may be open or closed:

  • Open captions become part of the video and cannot be turned off.
  • Closed captions use a code that allows it to be turned on and off, but needs a special piece of equipment called a decoder.

Learn more about the difference between open and closed captions.


Any time a video will play during an event, the video should be captioned for playback. Here are some ways this can be done:

  • If the video will be played back from Youtube or Facebook, make sure the captions have been corrected and are toggled “on” for playback.
  • If the video will be played back from a file, provide the venue with an open-captioned file.
    • A caption layer can be created in Adobe Premiere or a file can be downloaded from a captioned YouTube video and imported into Adobe Premiere.
    • Open captions are burned into the video and cannot be turned off.

Streamed webcasts also need captions. Here are some options to do this:

Notes about streaming services

Every system handles captions differently.

  • YouTube can take closed captions if the proper encoder is used. Other streaming services may only accept open captions.
  • Facebook Live can be live captioned with 2nd party vendor support.

Be sure your system includes the ability to include captions.