ESPN quickly took the yellow out of the down-and-distance graphic at lower right. (ESPN)
It seemed like a good idea to someone at ESPN. But football fans do not eagerly accept change when it comes to their viewing habits, and in its very first “Monday Night Football” game of the season, the network quickly found that its new down-and-distance graphic was freaking out its audience.
The graphic in the lower-right corner of the screen, which typically conveys critical information like the score, the quarter, how much time is left and the current down and distance, suddenly had a yellow bar over down and distance. The color made that information pop all right, but it also made it appear as if there had been a penalty on every single play to viewers conditioned to know that yellow means “flag.” Then the box changed to black during a penalty, and, well, nothing made any sense any more.
Looking at ESPN’s yellow downs counter trying to figure out if it’s a flag or just the next down pic.twitter.com/VXybMW1rWf— SI Extra Mustard (@SI_ExtraMustard) September 9, 2019
While it looked as if there had been a penalty called on every play, in the NFL, it’s really on, like, every third play. See?
I keep thinking there’s a flag with ESPN’s graphic. pic.twitter.com/EkWyPHBV54— Tyler Sullivan (@TylerSully) September 10, 2019
Like 80 percent of my timeline has complained about the ESPN down and distance marker being bright yellow and therefore looking like the usual graphic for “the ref threw a flag” and I really have no idea how multiple people looked at that and approved it.— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) September 9, 2019
Yellow is for flags
Other colors are for other things— Stuckey (@Stuckey2) September 9, 2019
Unlike last season’s unpopular Jason Witten experiment, there was a quick fix at halftime because ESPN was reading Twitter.
“Our ESPN production team is aware of the feedback on the #MNF down and distance graphic,” Bill Hofheimer, who oversees ESPN public relations for Monday night games, the NFL and pro sports, tweeted. “We have called an audible and adjusted for the second half of the #HouvsNO and for the #DENvsOAK game to follow.”
Our ESPN production team is aware of the feedback on the #MNF down and distance graphic. We have called an audible and adjusted for the 2nd half of #HOUvsNO and for the #DENvsOAK game to follow. New look pictured here. pic.twitter.com/SWLKKuW87w— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) September 10, 2019
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Source : https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/09/10/espn-quickly-fixed-yellow-monday-night-football-graphic-after-viewers-freaked-out/1119