CBS Sports Network – Hockey Graphics Package Breakdown

CBS Sports Network (CBSSN) kicked off their NCHC coverage last night, covering North Dakota at Western Michigan. CBS has adapted their new-for-2012 graphics package to Hockey, and it looks quite nice!

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I went through their broadcast last night and took screenshots of each different state of the scoreboard and of each distinct graphic used during the broadcast.

The screenshots are of fairly poor quality (low res, high JPEG compression), as they were taken using the LG TV App on my phone (technology is amazing), and there doesn’t seem to be any quality setting. It’s very easy to take these screenshots, however. I will hopefully switch over to higher quality screenshots once I build my PVR (hopefully later this month).

So, let’s get started with the scoreboard after the jump!

The first thing worth noting is the Picture-In-Picture game clock. Is it really that hard to implement a proper clock? RPI TV has had clock sync working for YEARS! I am a fan of the big “full name” cells for each school. The addition of the team logo is nice, as well.

CBS offers a bunch of information as “danglers” from the scoreboard, including colors, commentators, officials, lines, goal scoring info, penalty info, stats, and random facts. Power Play time is presented as a dangler below the respective school, and past performances on the powerplay are sometimes briefly shown. Delayed Penalties and “Under Review” expand outward from the left from where the CBS Logo was located (I used the same crop box for each screenshot). The “goal” graphic expands to take up the entire scoreboard. For whatever reason, the CBS logo pulses during normal play.

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All-in-all, CBS has a solid, comprehensive hockey scoreboard.

Let’s now turn to full screen graphics. Commentary after each image (where applicable), images should be in order of their appearance.

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Exterior shots were accompanied by a small lower 3rd.

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Starman and Holden, what a lineup! CBS logo separating the two commentators. Twitter handles included, I like it!

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“Opening” graphic.

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First of the “storyline” graphics.

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Second storyline, the WMU goalie.

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Title-card used to intro in a highlight reel of the WMU goalie.

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Pre-rendered lower 3rds were used during highlight packages.

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Title card for the NCHC broadcst, used throughout the broadcast, usually on the way to commercial.

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Conclusion of the CBS/NCHC intro video (which was played after considerable commentary). Amusing similarities to RPI TV’s glass shattering title screen.

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After the sports intro, back to the game, a bit of background info.

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Starting lines for ND, coupled with coach shot. Would make sense to have an entry here for the coach.

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Goalie lower 3rds. Note the ECAC Hockey scores in the crawl (woohoo!)

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I believe these were used coming back from the 1st commercial break during the game. Slow 3d effect rotating from left to right. Borderline obnoxious.

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Coach introduction, with record dangler.

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Brief highlights of ND shots were accompanied by a 3D overlay in the bottom left.

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Billboards were framed to be consistent with the rest of the broadcast.

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Not a title, but a fun shot of the whiteboard in the locker room. Win Today, in case it wasn’t clear.

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Sideline reporter hadn’t yet made an on-camera appearance, but she gets a lower 3rd (with headshot!) while speaking.

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Score lower third used during the bump in to commercial.

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Two visiting alumni get their own graphic. The columns on left/right are notable as well. Cano to the Mariners, woohoo!

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More storylines, in-game! I really like this graphic.

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Apparently at the professional level it’s okay to interview the head coach mid-period! This was around the 10:00 mark.

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And the accompanying graphic for the coach.

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The 1st ND powerplay provides an opportunity to take a look at special teams. Notable: no percentage sign and NCAA rank (steal this).

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Sometimes the penalties were announced via scoreboard dangler (see way above), but more often they were introduced via lower 3rd. Fairly simple, no stats or info besides name and number.

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More in-game storylines, believe this was used during a transition back from a break. Good narrative.

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ND flavored version of the penalty lower 3rd. Looks like I caught the PP timer descending as well.

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And the ND version of the special teams. Note that the teams didn’t flip-flop vertically, which I find a bit strange. Maintains home-team-on-the-bottom rather than PP team on top.

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Preview of 1st intermission topics. I think this graphic is ugly.

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1st period highlights, encased in ice for whatever reason, accompanied by a score lower 3rd.

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Player interview with dubious framing and copious amounts of sweat. Very simple lower 3rd, note the lack of headshot and number.

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Starman is apparently having a feature where he creates an all star team from each team’s past. Only five faces appear here, the sixth (Danny DeKeyser) was given his own highlight package preceding this graphic.

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All three of the broadcasts got together during the 1st intermission. Curious positioning against the boards — I wonder if they really did PBP and commentary from this location? Hope not.

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Apparently there was a poll to name the NCHC championship. “Frozen Faceoff” won (ugh).

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Low-res video accompanied by a tiny lower 3rd to promote the frozen faceoff.

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I don’t even.

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Finally, we get a stats graphic. Notable: includes separated score and player notes.

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Player highlight of a UND defector including some very old USHL stats.

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This is a great graphic; it’s unfortunate that the three schools on the right all use red as their primary color.

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I only watched the 2nd period on fast-forward, but didn’t really see anything else too interesting. Stats after 2.

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I like this one; thinking about stealing it. I would include a “pace” column too, projecting tonight’s final totals based on the game clock.

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The game was winding down at this point (around 5:00 left in the 3rd), so a brief recap was at hand.

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This showed up a couple times earlier in the broadcast. Moderately strange that it doesn’t quite take up the full screen.

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NCHC standings; shootouts are stupid and make the team records really ugly. W-L-T-SHL? I thought NCHC did a 3-2-1 point system, so don’t you need a SHW too? Mass confusion, no explanation.

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Your final score lower 3rd.

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There was a goal with under a second left, brief look at the PIP clock overlay.

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ND’s New record vs. WMU

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And here’s your credits to close it out!

I was left very impressed by the broadcast, notably the variety of on screen graphics used not only to cover the game, but to help to tell the storylines and to cover out-of-town games.

I have a couple other games on my DVR, including a BTN game and an NBCSN tilt. I hope to do breakdowns of those over the next week. ESPN is back in the hockey broadcasting biz, and while I don’t get ESPNU, I’ll analyze their coverage during their next game on ESPNEWS (Feb 1). I’m not sure if Fox Sports 1 has any games on their plate, but I’ll stay on the lookout. They have some regional games broadcasting on the FCS family, so I can take a look there. I don’t have a good way of getting my hands on NESN or Root broadcasts, but if I see one on some other channel I’ll grab it.

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