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Ticker Or No Ticker? NBC Sports Makes The Right Decision For Its Premier League Coverage

nbc epl press conference Ticker Or No Ticker? NBC Sports Makes The Right Decision For Its Premier League Coverage

A final decision has been made by NBC Sports regarding whether the network will feature a ticker on its coverage of live Premier League matches, or not.

Beginning with the 2013-14 season, NBC Sports has decided that there will be no ticker running across the bottom of the screen during live Premier League matches.

The hotly debated topic has split soccer fans in the United States. In rare occasions during previous years, FOX Soccer experimented with a ticker, but those tests were quickly met with a chorus of disapproval that resulted in FOX abandoning the tests. More recently, ESPN upset a lot of soccer fans Stateside with their ticker on Saturday morning matches to such an extent that many hardcore soccer fans put tape across the bottom of their TV screen to block the annoying crawl.

When I spoke with NBC Sports Network Executive Producer Sam Flood in April, here’s what he said about the ticker debate:

“When the ball is in play, I don’t allow it. I don’t allow it in hockey. I don’t allow it in this sport. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do for the viewer.”

At the time, a final decision hadn’t been reached. But NBC’s decision to eliminate the ticker is a wise choice. Reason being is that without it, it allows viewers to concentrate on the game instead of being distracted by an annoying scrolling ticker.

For all the good work ESPN has done in promoting soccer in the United States, the ticker is one of the few criticisms about ESPN’s coverage. And for all of the criticism that FOX Soccer gets, the fact that they don’t feature a ticker is one of the several aspects that they do well.

This entry was posted in Leagues: EPL, NBC. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

29 Responses to Ticker Or No Ticker? NBC Sports Makes The Right Decision For Its Premier League Coverage

  1. leafsfan1967 says:

    Another example of NBC getting it right. As others have said in other threads, I can hardly wait for Saturday morning!

  2. Steve says:

    I assume that means no “drop-down” score updates too?

  3. SeminoleGunner says:

    Thumbs up if you ever stacked DVD cases or stuck a band of electrical tape on your TV to block that damn ESPN ticker during Champions League replays.

  4. Dave says:

    I count myself as one who made a makeshift duct tape & cardboard “ticker-cover” – With so many matches going on simultaneously, it only makes sense to encourage people to watch a match of the day style program later in the day.

    Thank you NBC! Very encouraging news!

  5. Daniel says:

    I took a deck of old playing cards, cut a few cards in half lengthwise, then stuck them at the bottom of my TV to hide the scrolling ticker. Then I endeavored to watch EPL games in chronological order. But I was always full of anxiety that someone would screw up and say another score…

  6. Donaldinho says:

    Great news. The biggest argument against the ticker is that, as a West Coast viewer, I watch most EPL matches on DVR, and I don’t want results of other games spoiled.

  7. yespage says:

    Of all the ridiculous things to get pissy about… I didn’t like it either. They are scrolling it with the Classic matches and it takes up space and is in the way, and in general, rather ugly.

    I’m glad NBC isn’t going to show the ticker. Now hopefully they won’t spoil results in on-going games either.

  8. goatslookshifty says:

    I wrote my own scores on my ticker cardboard…Man Utd 3 Man City 0…Chelsea 0 Southampton 4…Arsenal 1 Wigan 7…

  9. Frill Artist says:

    Good job, NBC. Can’t wait for Saturday.

  10. Mufc77 says:

    Another great move by NBC. It shows they are listening to what the fans want and we can’t ask for more than that.

  11. Emmett says:

    Stumbled across this article on the metro.

    http://metro.co.uk/2013/04/16/states-of-play-american-fans-to-watch-every-premier-league-live-on-nbc-and-theyre-pinching-match-of-the-day-3618707/

    What’s this all about? Just mad that he isn’t able to watch every single game in the country the games are played in?

  12. nickp91 says:

    I’m glad NBC isn’t going to show the ticker

  13. Eplnfl says:

    Hate the ticker for sure but all for score updates.

  14. NashRambler says:

    I didn’t expect that they would run the ticker during live games because NBCSN does not run it during live MLS games. I’m worried they will run the ticker on the Match of the Day highlights shows and game replays on weekday nights.

    NBCSN has been running “Classic English League Soccer” matches over the last several days with the score ticker at the bottom of the screen. I don’t have a problem with the ticker itself, the big problem I have is that NBCSN compresses the picture above the ticker which degrades and distorts the picture quality.

    When ESPN or Fox have the ticker they run it on top of the image at the bottom of the screen in order to maintain the integrity of the picture quality. Compressing the picture as NBCSN does sort of defeats the purpose of going to the trouble of watching in HD when the compressed picture looks like crap compared to any other HD broadcast.

    If they persist with this practice when the season starts I’m afraid I’ll be inclined to not watch the highlights shows and continue to complain on this site and I hope everyone who is bothered by this issue will voice their complaints as well.

  15. Cantona says:

    NBC has listened… Good on you… Great decision.. You have extended our viewing..

    NBC has done Everything right… Pierre Moousa should be commended !!!!

    Eric Shanks should be EMBARRASSED!!

    Cantona—

  16. sucka99 says:

    This site is an invaluable asset to and voice of, and advocate for Premier League fans in the US.

  17. rkujay says:

    Great news. Now can we please get rid of the nuisance kit color banner? It seems to me that those who matter already know. Those who don’t know don’t matter.

  18. Scrumper says:

    NBC has done their homework and rid us of that stupid ticker. Probably helps they had input from the sensible team presenting the show. Going to make a nice change from the “return to the cave” crowd over on Fox.

  19. Sarbanharble says:

    “For all the hard work ESPN has done promoting soccer in the States…” this is a joke, right?

  20. Keane16 says:

    What about those stupid animated ads Fox have that squash up the screen often at important moments? Can we be sure we won’t have to suffer those on NBC?

  21. Simon says:

    One more good move by NBC its almost like they have been reading stuff on this website and others like bigsoccer to see what us fans don’t and do want. Fox take note this is how you cover sports.

  22. Mike says:

    there is a ticker in the upper right corner.

    Boooooo.

  23. James says:

    Stop cycling through the scores of matches in the upper right corner! WTH were they thinking? The whole point of not having a sports ticker on the bottom is so there are no score spoilers. This better not be there next weekend. Get it fixed now!

    • James says:

      For the thumbs down(s)…for the vast majority it is super easy to find out what the scores are via other methods.

      That’s a very minor inconvenience compared to having the scores of games you intend to watch being shown throughout the entire match.

      I can’t fully enjoy the match because I have to avoid looking in the upper right corner.

  24. Finally a product to block the scrolling ticker. Easy to use, easy to cover and uncover the ticker. Check it out here – tickercover.com or on Facebook, search TV Ticker Cover.

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