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VITAC is one of the United States' largest closed captioning and media access companies. The company is headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, with additional facilities in Washington, D.C. and North Hollywood, California. The company captions over 220,000 hours of programming each year for over 1400 customers, including cable channels CNN and MSNBC, cable network Discovery Communications, productions for ABC Studios, syndicated and cable productions for Fox and CBS Television Distribution, off-network productions for NBCUniversal and cable and out-of-state productions for Warner Bros.. The company has captioned the Olympics. VITAC [1] is a division of Merrill Corporation and employs 321 people.


VITAC was founded in 1986 as CaptionAmerica, a small company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with one captioning contract for KDKA local news and a commitment to develop closed captioning services and solutions.

By 1993, CaptionAmerica became the country's largest for-profit captioning company and had broadened its focus. To reflect the change, a new corporate identity was selected. The new name, VITAC (for VITal ACcess), reflected the company's recent growth into new markets, including video description and subtitling.[1]

Events and milestones[edit]

  • 1986 – VITAC gets its first contract captioning Pittsburgh's KDKA nightly news broadcast.
  • 1988 – VITAC becomes first to caption both Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
  • 1990 – VITAC captions its first national news program, The Today Show.
  • 1992 – VITAC begins captioning The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
  • 1993 – CNN becomes a client of VITAC.
  • 1994 – VITAC begins to provide round-the-clock captioning for NBC during the O.J. Simpson investigation and trial throughout 1994 and 1995.
  • 1995 – ABC becomes a client of VITAC.
  • 1997 – Fox Sports Networks become clients of VITAC.
  • 2000 – VITAC helps customers prepare for new U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandates related to captioning.
  • 2003 – VITAC introduced multilanguage subtitling department, providing translation and subtitling in over 50 languages.
  • 2004 – Discovery Communications's 14 television networks becomes clients of VITAC.
  • 2005 – VITAC becomes the exclusive captioning provider for The Weather Channel.
  • 2006 – VITAC begins offering real-time, simultaneous captioning for sporting events, in English and Spanish.
  • 2007 – VITAC offers real-time captioning, special report coverage and customer support to NBC news programs, 10 NBC O&Os and Telemundo.
  • 2008 – VITAC provides Spanish captioning for TuTV.
  • 2009 – VITAC begins captioning for NHK, the Japanese broadcast network, as well as HRTV and Zuffa
  • 2010 – VITAC adds QVC to list of exclusive captioned networks.
  • 2012 - VITAC captions the 2012 London Olympic Games in both English and Spanish.
  • 2012 - VITAC joins forces with Los Angeles-based captioning and audio description provider Closed Captioning Servies (CCS). [2]
  • 2014 - VITAC is chosen by NBCUniversal as the exclusive caption provider of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.[3]


In 2008, VITAC launched CaptionsON, a public information campaign detailing the benefits of closed captioning. The website associated with the campaign provides advice to viewers with caption problems and contact information for many networks.

VITAC is a member of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology, COAT, and a coalition of over 240 national, regional, state, and community-based disability organizations. COAT advocates for legislative and regulatory safeguards that will ensure full access by people with disabilities to evolving high speed broadband, wireless and other Internet Protocol (IP) technologies. Part of this initiative is the introduction of new legislation, HR3101.[4] Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has appointed three VITAC employees to serve a two-year term on the Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory Committee (VPEAAC), an advisory committee required by the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (the Accessibility Act).[5]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]