Sports graphics roundup on the eve of the Olympics

I’m way overdue for a sports graphics roundup, so let’s get a quick one out of the way before the Olympics start.

You may recall how mystified I was at FSN’s new basketball graphic, wondering why they would spell out team names and use a bulky tab for bonus indicators on the NBA but not college. Well, said graphic subsequently appeared on FSN’s college basketball broadcasts, complete with timeout indicators. I think FSN may have even gone as far as to put timeout indicators on its NBA graphics.

But I said last time that we would get some ugly graphics, and CBS proved me right twice over. First, we got this graphic during the regular season, with the spelled-out “DBL BONUS” that appears towards the end of overtime. (Not all CBS games used this graphic with the bulky tab, so it was probably a late addition that the graphic wasn’t designed for.)

That was nothing, though, compared to the graphic that appeared for March Madness with the bulky tab hanging below the otherwise-fairly-elegant banner. I kinda-sorta like how the bonus indicator would change to read “1-and-1” or “2 Shots” after a foul (though I am worried about dumbing things down), but with the extra vertical space the network logo takes up, couldn’t you have nudged the score up and added a full-length tab below it?

Onward to baseball, where Fox’s return to using logos only to identify teams in its NFL graphic has proven so successful that they surprised me by letting it spread to its baseball coverage, including on its FSN affiliates.

The Mets’ SNY has gone to the same sort of two-line box used by its Northeastern brethren YES and NESN, though for some unfathomable reason they decided their use of dots to indicate balls and strikes would be so much more successful than when ESPN tried it.

Root Sports’ baseball graphics reflect baseball’s status as their only major professional sport shared across multiple RSNs let alone all three, with the use of logos alongside abbreviations. Clearly economic use of space was a priority, with the use of dots to indicate outs (though they seem to have missed a lesson Fox learned, that the third dot isn’t necessary) and the use of just a number to indicate pitch speed.

TBS’ regular-season logo fits oddly in the graphic introduced last postseason, but we all know the trouble with finding a source for that.

ESPN’s attempt at mimicking the Euro 2012 world feed graphics was surprisingly accurate, considering how ornate they were (and considering how off they were at Euro 2008 and how they didn’t even try at the 2010 and 2011 World Cups), with the only way of telling which was which being how they came in and out. But the score graphic was just plain weird. (And yes, this was the best video I could come up with to show it off.)

Nothing much to say about Root Sports’ soccer graphics…

…or about NBC Sports Network’s either.

NBCSN’s graphics for IndyCar and the Tour de France are pretty much straight swaps of Versus’ graphics.

For completeness’ sake, here’s NBCSN’s graphics for its boxing cards.

Overall, my opinion of NBC’s new graphics hasn’t changed; I’m still greatly disappointed. After seeing their application for the French Open, I really do think they’re transitioning out of tennis after losing Wimbledon.

And that’ll be it until next time, which I suspect will be after the NFL season starts.

Leave a Comment