Monday, June 23, 2008

Wimbledon Notes

Is there anything ESPN can't fuck up?

As the Championships got underway this morning, ESPN unveiled their new scoring graphics. It's the worst graphic design I've seen for sports-broadcasting, maybe ever.

In tennis, the traditional scoring graphic--a box of information tucked into either the upper or lower left-hand corner--conveys 6 pieces of information simultaneously: the names of the players; their seeds; who is serving; the score of previous sets; the score of the current set; the score of the current game.

The Four Letter Network's new graphic--a thin horizontal line stretching all the way across the top of the screen--takes up (I suspect) nearly as many square inches of screen as the old graphic. But it conveys only three pieces of information at a time: the names of the players; who is serving; and the score of the current game. The graphic than changes periodically between points, spitting out other bits of information. It's distracting, inefficient, and kind of maddening.

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