CBS To Offer Audio Description For The Blind of "The 75th Annual Tony Awards"

Tony Awards
(Image credit: CBS)

NEW YORK—CBS, The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing have announced that they will be broadening access to "The 75th Annual Tony Awards" by providing for the first time an audio description of the live telecast. 

The addition of audio description, which provides audio-narrated descriptions of a program's key visual elements, ensures that viewers who are blind and have low-vision will be able to take in all the action occurring on the screen, and provides a much richer experience of the event. 

The audio description will be provided on the Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) channel by VITAC and Audio Eyes.

Live from the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York and hosted by Academy Award winner and Tony nominee Ariana DeBose, "The 75th Annual Tony Awards" will be broadcast Sunday, June 12 on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. 

The audio description on Paramount+ will only be included in post-live air streams.

CBC noted that it has been providing audio descriptions since April 1, 2002 and that the network offers audio description with nearly all its regularly scheduled scripted primetime programs, all movies, selected specials and the entire CBS Dream Team Saturday morning block of educational/informational children's programming.

"For over 20 years, CBS has continually improved upon and increased the availability of audio description in our programming. We are proud to be able to offer `The 75th Annual Tony Awards’ to an even wider and more inclusive audience," said Mark Turits, vice president of captioning and audio description at Paramount Global.

The Tony Awards, which honor theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, is presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing and has been broadcast on CBS since 1978.

Audio Eyes is a partnership of audio engineers, producers, accessibility experts, blind professionals and audio description professionals who are passionate about providing high quality services in a creative, inclusive work environment. 

The Audio Eyes production team has more than a decade of experience providing live audio description in theaters as well as recorded audio description for broadcast television networks, nationally distributed DVDs, government agencies and private entities. 

VITAC, a Verbit company, is the largest provider of accessible video products and services in North America. Responsible for captioning hundreds of thousands of programming hours each year, its customers include every broadcast company and most cable networks, as well as Fortune 1000 corporations, educational institutions, government agencies, plus stadiums and arenas.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.