Fox attempted to simplify its new NFL on-screen graphics package, but what fans saw in its debut Sunday is definitely generating a buzz.
When it comes to innovations in sports broadcasting, Fox Sports has been one of the leaders. And one of its most famous innovations debuted in 1994 — the Fox Box — where the score, down and distance, and time remaining would be displayed throughout the broadcast.
Since then, on-screen graphics showing the score and game situation have become a fixture on all sports broadcasts. Fans have grown used to seeing them, and they only seem to generate a buzz if they’re too hard to read.
“Fox unveiled a new graphics package for the 2017 season during Sunday’s preseason broadcasts, opting for a simplistic bottom-line look over the corner ‘score bug’ we saw last season,” according to USA Today.
Below are two pictures showing what Fox’s new graphics look like and how they plan to incorporate more simplistic graphics into their coverage this season.
Fox’s new NFL graphics, if you have not seen them pic.twitter.com/CVAZm2N2Y3
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) August 27, 2017
The first thing many fans noticed was the new graphics only display the team names and colors, not their logos.
The graphics are very basic in relation to showing the quarter, time clocks, and the down-and-distance markers. The overly simplistic nature of the graphics is what fans seemed to dislike the most.
Here’s how several fans reacted to Fox’s new graphics package for the 2017 season:
The new FOX graphics are too simple. Ton of wasted space, fonts are too small, and disappointing considering FOX has been a pioneer in this.
— Zach Halverson (@ZachHalverson) August 27, 2017
These new NFL on Fox graphics remind me of public access. Apologies to public access.
— Dave Purpura (@dpurpura) August 27, 2017
— Rick Sowa (@RickSowa1) August 27, 2017
Some fans who were watching Fox’s pregame coverage of Super Bowl LI in February may have noticed the network used some different graphics for that portion of its broadcast, and those graphics appear to be very similar to what Fox showed off on Sunday.
Looks like Fox is breaking in new graphics for the Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/pQjq4UjfGE
— Curtis (@Curtos07) February 5, 2017
Fox has made some other big changes to its NFL coverage to pull fans from rival networks like CBS and NBC.
Fox hired future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez to join its “Fox NFL Kickoff” Sunday morning show. The network also hired former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to become one of its game analysts, but Cutler has since decided to return to football after being offered a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.
Luckily, increasing font size seems like it would the easiest way to quell viewer angst ahead of a highly anticipated 2017 NFL season.