Expanded Audio Descriptive commentary service now available in Euro 2024

6 football players in different shirts who will be playing in the EURO 2024 competition

by Joe Lonergan

An expanded audio-descriptive commentary service will be available throughout UEFA EURO 2024, for blind and low-vision football fans. It will also be the first EURO ever to feature Audio Descriptive commentary in the languages of all competing teams in their specific match.

For example, if France is playing Germany, commentary will be available in French and German. Audio descriptive commentary is designed to give blind and partially sighted fans additional information on what is happening in the match, with a specially trained commentator providing a more detailed account of what’s happening on the pitch.

Most of us are familiar with commentary on GAA or soccer matches on the Radio from stations like RTE radio 1 or BBC 5 Live or maybe your own local radio station and in most cases, this is sufficient, but Audio descriptive commentary goes a step further and describes where exactly the ball is on the pitch and then if the position is to left or right of the centre circle and description of players emotions and gestures and sometimes what they look like.

How to access the ADC service during UEFA EURO 2024

ADC will be available during all 51 matches through the UEFA EURO 2024 app. Download the official Euro 2024 app onto your Android or iPhone, then to find ADC, open the app, navigate to More, navigate to Audio-Descriptive commentary, select the match you are interested in, select the language for example English, and now the commentary will play.

The service is also available on the web player on the Euro 2024 website.

The service is sponsored by UEFA EURO 2024 partners Deutsche Telekom. It is also a good follow-up to another great initiative from the Rugby Six Nations on ITV earlier this year which had Audio Descriptive commentary on terrestrial TV for the first time ever.

It is good to see Audio Descriptive commentary getting this attention and hopefully, it will be the norm to have it at all big tournaments and big matches in the future.

At a more local level, Shamrock Rovers FC has an Audio Descriptive commentary service for their blind and low-vision fans as part of a community-based initiative. It is hoped this will spread to more sports clubs around the country.

I tried it out for the opening game between Germany, and Scotland. I found it excellent, and the commentators were very good. There was also a co-commentator who conveyed the emotion of the game very well and also gave very good descriptions of what was going on. Be aware that some games will not have English commentary, but games involving England and Scotland will definitely have English commentary through the app.

If you have tried out the Audio Descriptive commentary from Euro 2024 let us know your thoughts with a WhatsApp voice note to the Talking Technology Podcast on 086 199 0011.

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