Yesterday, I was doing what I do every Sunday from September-December, soaking in 7 hours of commercial-free football on NFL RedZone with Scott Hanson. During the Seahawks-Vikings game, I noticed how the score bug had changed from earlier in the day. As a company, Fox doesn't really care about what's best for its audience, so I know this blog will fall on more deaf ears than usual, but the Fox NFL score bug is, to quote its news' regarding any sort of pro-human rights policy...AN ABOMINATION! Now vital information like the quarter, down/distance, time remaining on the game, and play clock are blocked out on the RedZone broadcast
I was far from the only person to notice.
It's all speculation, but the fact that this change came between the 1 pm and 4 pm slate of games makes it seem like it happened with hopes of deterring people from watching RedZone over the Fox broadcast.
At least that's what the reply to my semi-viral (0 RT, 4 likes) tweet implied.
I'll give Fox all the credit in the world for introducing the full-time score bug in 1994 (whenever I watch old sporting events on Youtube, it blows my mind that information wasn't always readily available. I couldn't imagine watching basketball without the shot clock, baseball without the count, etc.) but I can't stand this current iteration of the Fox NFL score bug. Ever since its surprise debut for Super Bowl LIV, I've wished this bug would get smashed onto a windshield at 158 MPH. It takes up way too much screen real estate IMO.
I'm much more of a thinnish line directly on the top or bottom of the screen that doesn't take too much away from the frame kinda guy.
I can be flexible; if the current Fox score bug was in the corner away from the play, I could ease up on my existing windshield smashing stance.
RedZone added its own score bug to combat Fox's move to give viewers the blocked-out information, taking up even more screen space.
It's just a (potentially) petty ass move that I'll never get behind. The people need to fight back and get this wrong righted! I know all these companies need to worry about ratings and the bottom line, blah, blah, blah, but less than 2 million people watch games on RedZone. Sorry fans love the product so much they want to watch as much of it as possible, and NEWSFLASH, it's 20 mother fucking 21; most people are watching on multiple screens/streams. There are enough pieces of the pie for everybody, you greedy fucks. I watched Bucs-Rams on my laptop and RedZone on my tv, and I'm just a pleb with only two screens going; one of my buddies has four. Maybe if Fox and CBS broadcast more games, losing viewers to RedZone wouldn't be an issue. I expect everything to be back to normal next Sunday, although I might not get to catch much RedZone :D
It's not all doom and gloom on the on-screen graphic front. Twenty-three years ago today, ESPN debuted the yellow first down line! As a 29-year-old football fanatic, I can't remember life without it. Thank you, ESPN, for being the worldwide leader in sports (23 years ago) and giving us this great gift (which, as we all know, is not official).
The yellow line has since evolved into the green zone for third down conversions
and field goal target lines (sorry you got screwed again, Lions fans, that 100000% should've been a delay of game).
If you are into the history of score bugs (aren't we all?), this video is worth the five minutes.