Archives: December 21st, 2013

CBS Sports Network Update

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

I’m working on a breakdown of NBCSN, but in the meantime, here’s a quick update to my previous look at CBS Sports Network’s Hockey graphics package.

One thing I disliked about the previous broadcast was the use of a Picture-in-Picture game clock in their score bar. Naturally, a PiP game clock is never desirable but it’s sometimes necessary due to technical limitations. Whatever technical limitations existed in Western Michigan’s Lawson Ice Arena two weeks ago did not exist in Minnesota Duluth’s Amsoil Arena last week, as that broadcast showcasing WMU at Duluth featured a proper game clock. It seemed to be actually synced with the arena clock, rather than manually operated, but I can’t be sure.

Here’s a quick look at the CBS score bar, with proper clock:


Looks much better. The whole look is more cohesive, the clock is much clearer and easier to read, and the dark blue background behind the clock is more consistent with the rest of the graphics. The blue bar below the scoreboard is the starting lineup “dangler” caught in mid transition.

Another change is an alternate background color for Western Michigan. As the away team, WMU is wearing black, and this is quickly and immediately discernible from the scoreboard graphic. I have mixed thoughts on this practice, however, which I’ll expand on in a future post.


A proper clock also significantly improves the score lower third, which looked nasty.

Something I forgot to mention last time was Typography. I’m not a “classically trained” graphic designer, or else I surely would have commented on it. Anyway, CBS Sports currently uses Klavika, following in the footsteps of ESPN. Like most broadcasters, CBS has elected to use an all caps (and in some places, small caps) for increased readability. Indeed, the graphics are extremely clear, even after the terrible JPG compression induced by my screen capture process. All caps are generally regarded as less readable as the amount of text increases, but CBS does a decent job of limiting the amount of text on most graphics (one exception is the “Coming Up” graphic).

While I originally only intended to grab a shot of the scoreboard with clock, while the broadcast was on I grabbed a couple more shots of titles that jumped out at me (after the jump!).  (more…)