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Audio-descriptive commentary available for fans at every UEFA EURO 2024 match

An expanded audio-descriptive commentary service will be available throughout UEFA EURO 2024, bringing blind and partially sighted fans around the world closer to the action in Germany.

Theo Hernandez (right) and Denzel Dumfries during a UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier  between Netherlands and France
Theo Hernandez (right) and Denzel Dumfries during a UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier between Netherlands and France UEFA via Getty Images

Blind and partially sighted supporters across the globe will have access to a comprehensive audio-descriptive commentary (ADC) service for all 51 matches at UEFA EURO 2024.

ADC has been in place during previous UEFA EURO tournaments, but this will be the first men’s edition with a remote service available through the official UEFA EURO 2024 app, allowing fans anywhere in the world with an internet connection to listen in.

It will also be the first EURO ever to feature ADC in the languages of competing teams, as well as German.

What is audio-descriptive commentary?

ADC 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 the action.

This includes descriptions of the position of the ball on the pitch, body language and facial expressions – essentially, every piece of significant visual information that is important to conveying the story of the match.

“You have to differentiate between description and commentary,” explains Broder-Jürgen Trede, an audio-descriptive commentator with more than 20 years of experience. “For example, after a goal, the main question for people who can see is: who was it?

“But, for people who can’t see, you have to describe the moment. It’s not important who scored, that comes next. First, you have to describe where the ball is and what is happening.”

For Trede, who will be part of the ADC team throughout UEFA EURO 2024, it’s also important to provide additional context for blind and partially sighted fans. “They still want to experience the emotion from the commentators,” he adds. “You have to find a good mixture between tracking the ball and telling stories or jokes.

“This is where having a good partner comes in. It’s impossible to track the ball all the time – after around two minutes, we switch. Even if your co-commentator repeats something you’ve said, he will do it in other words, and this helps paint a better picture for listeners.”

An audio description commentator in action during the UEFA Champions League
An audio description commentator in action during the UEFA Champions LeaguePablo Blazquez Dominguez

What difference does audio-descriptive commentary make for listeners?

For blind and visually impaired football fans, ADC is an essential service that allows them to better understand what is going on and get closer to the action.

“It makes all the difference for them,” says Trede. “One listener told me that they’re now able to talk to other people who saw the game. They’re able to discuss it afterwards because they know all the details – sometimes more than people who can see.

“I think that’s an important part of our job, preparing our audience for those conversations after the game. If you’re able to do this, you will be a good AD commentator.”

Broder-Jürgen Trede

The expansion of the ADC service, allowing any fan to be able to access the service – whether in the stadium or at home – is an important step to increasing accessibility as outlined in the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Strategy for UEFA EURO 2024.

“It’s so important,” Trede states. “We know now that even people who can see use our commentary because we provide details that they might not notice themselves.

“Implementing this service at every game and in different languages, like UEFA is doing, is how it should be. Every big tournament should do this now.”

How to access the ADC service during UEFA EURO 2024

ADC will be available during all 51 matches through the UEFA EURO 2024 app. To find it, navigate to More, At the Event, Audio-Descriptive commentary. The service is also available on a web player.

For each game, German commentary will be available along with the languages of the two teams. When a language is not available (Georgian, Serbian), English commentary will be provided.

The service is provided alongside UEFA EURO 2024 partners Deutsche Telekom, who will be ensuring connectivity at all ten tournament stadiums.

vivo, the official partner of EURO 2024, has supplied its X100 series smartphones to assist visually impaired fans at the stadiums in experiencing the tournament. This initiative demonstrates vivo's commitment to digital inclusivity. The company is dedicated to developing solutions that cater to diverse needs, with a particular focus on auditory, visual, and elderly care.

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