1979: Creation of NCI announced by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
1980: First closed-captioned programs: The ABC Sunday Night Movie (ABC), Disney’s Wonderful World (NBC), and Masterpiece Theatre (PBS) air on March 16. First children’s program: 3-2-1 Contact (PBS). First commercial: IBM.
1981: First captioning on a live sports event: The Sugar Bowl. First home videos: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The China Syndrome, and Chapter Two (RCA/Columbia House Home Video). First pay cable series: Bizarre (Showtime).
1982: NCI develops real-time captioning. First live special: The Academy Awards. First national newscast: World News Tonight (ABC).
1984: First real-time captioning of the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
1985: First real-time captioning of comentary on a sports event: Super Bowl. First coporately-funded TV series: Family Ties by Kellogg Company.
1986: First daytime serial: Search for Tomorrow. First daytime talk show: The Oprah Winfrey Show.
1987: First game shows: Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
1991: First Congressional floor proceedings: U.S. House of Representatives.
1992: First home video service in Europe: England.
1993: First inter-continentally-telivised event: Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration, U.S. and England.
2001: First real-time Spanish captioning with mixed case and accent marks: Deportes (CNN en Espanol).
2002: NCI adds a Described Medai group and explores Voice Writing as a viable captioning method.
2004: First live broadcast captioned by Voice Writing: C-SPAN.
2009: First live broadcast captioned by Spanish Voice Writing: KWHY.
2010: NCI captions Sesame Street for the 30th year.
2011: NCI introduces Recap’d, a web-based system for displaying live captioning.
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Did you know?
What was the first captioned live sports event?
The first live sports event with closed captioning was the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1981. The game was played in the New Orleans Superdome where the Georgia Bulldogs met the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. A special system connected to the stadium’s electronic scoreboard provided information in the TV captioning about the down number, yards to go for a first down, the yard line on which the ball is being played, and other details about the game that were displayed on the scoreboard.
Real-time captioning of commentary on a live sports event was provided for the first time on the Super Bowl that aired on January 20, 1985. In September 1985, ABC’s Monday Night Football became the first sports series to include real-time captioning of commentary.
What was the first captioned children’s program?
3-2-1 Contact was among the first group of television programs to be captioned in March 1980 and was the first children’s program. This science educational show produced by Children’s Television Workshop aired on PBS member stations from 1980 to 1988. Later in 1980, Sesame Street became the second children’s program to be captioned and is now the longest running captioned children’s program.