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.