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Score bug

A score bug (or, in an expanded form, a score box or score bar) is a digital on-screen graphic which is displayed at either the top or lower third bottom of the television screen during a broadcast of a sporting event in order to display the current score and other statistics.


A typical score bug on a televised sporting event will consist of the station logo alongside the current score of game, and other information, such as time elapsed.

The concept of a persistent score bug for association football (soccer) matches was devised by Sky Sports head David Hill, who was dissatisfied over having to wait to see what the score was after tuning into a match in-progress. The score bug was introduced during Sky's coverage of the newly-formed English Premier League in 1992. Hill's boss repeatedly demanded that the graphic be removed, describing it as the "stupidest thing [he] had ever seen". Hill defied the boss's demands and kept the graphic in place.[1]

The concept was introduced to the United States by ABC Sports and ESPN during coverage of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Their justification for the graphic was to provide a location for cycling sponsor logos, in order to allow matches to air without commercial interruption.[1]

With the acquisition of rights to the National Football League by BSkyB's American sibling Fox (a fellow venture of Rupert Murdoch), Hill became the first president of Fox Sports. Fox would introduce a similar graphic, branded as the "FoxBox", as part of its inaugural season of NFL coverage later in 1994.[1] Despite initial objections to the concept by some viewers (to the point that Hill even received death threats from an irate viewer, with a specific emphasis on him being a "foreigner"),[2] the score bug soon became a ubiquitous feature of sports broadcasts—with Fox employing it on future sports acquisitions (such as Major League Baseball), and other networks introducing their own versions of the concept in the years that followed.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Sandomir, Richard (2014-06-12). "The Innovation That Grew and Grew". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  2. ^ Curtis, Bryan (2018-12-13). "The Great NFL Heist: How Fox Paid for and Changed Football Forever". The Ringer. Retrieved 2020-02-08.