One of the greatest inventions in the history of television is the sports ticker. At one point in time there was no way to instantly check the scores of a sporting event. That is until ESPN popularized the sports ticker.
Back in the early 90’s I was just becoming a diehard baseball fan but I couldn’t be as big of a fan as I wanted. At that time there were few baseball games on television, unless you wanted to be a Cubs or Braves fan (and who would want that?) ESPN had a television show in the evenings called Baseball Tonight, but if you missed it you wouldn’t see all the scores of the games or the current standings for each division.
There was one point in time where I would have to beg my Mom to buy me a Baseball Weekly every week so that I could keep track of the scores, the leaders in each category and the standings. Sometimes I went without a Baseball Weekly and went to bed at night wondering who had won some important game that I was missing.
That’s when ESPN’s sports ticker was rolled out. In a small space at the bottom of the screen all the scores of that night’s games would scroll by. Sometimes it was just the score of the game but sometimes there was more information like the standings, the leaders in each statistic or that night’s starting pitchers.
ESPN’s sports ticker was a thing of beauty. When my Mom made go to bed I would just tell her to hold on a few minutes while I saw the scores scroll by one more time. There was no more wondering what happened to my favorite team while I lay in bed.
Then something better came along. It’s called the internet. Anybody that has the internet has everything they need to know about any sport at their finger tips. Not only are they privy to all the information that ESPN’s sports ticker has, but they have even more information than what can possibly fit into that little box. That is why ESPN’s sports ticker should go. It isn’t needed anymore.
Some people might think, “well, the ESPN sports ticker is harmless enough, why can’t it stay?” The ESPN sports ticker is harmful though. Anybody that wants instant scores now goes to the internet. Those that go to the television aren’t looking for scores anymore. They are going to watch a game or watch highlights. The ESPN sports ticker is actually spoiling scores they don’t want to see.
Here is a perfect example. Tennis plays its biggest events all around the world. This week is the French Open. At the French Open games begin at 11 AM in Paris, which is 4 AM here. ESPN tapes the games and airs them around 11 AM or noon here in the States. As their taped events are happening the ESPN sports ticker has the results to those very same matches scrolling across the bottom of the screen! Do you know how frustrating it is to wonder who is going to win this epic clash between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and three games into the match the result flashes on the bottom of the screen?
The ESPN sports ticker is now just a spoiler. How would you like it if you sat down for the series finale of Lost and 30 minutes in a ticker at the bottom of the screen said, “the sideways universe is purgatory!” “Jack saves the island!” “We still didn’t answer about a billion other questions that you wanted to know!” How would you like watching a movie on USA, Spike or TNT and at the bottom of the screen it says, “Verbal Kent is Keyser Soze!” “Bruce Willis is dead the entire movie!” “Darth Vader is his father!”