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Onscreen score lines on sports events

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  • Onscreen score lines on sports events

    When did TV companies start to put onscreen score lines for sports such as football and snooker? I would guess 1995-ish? I have football coverage of a Nottingham Forest game from early 1994 where only the score was flashed up on screen every 15 minutes or so, and so by the late 1990s it seemed to be more prominent. I know that four letter abbreviations were used back then compared to three figures these days.

    I know that up until a few years ago that Arsenal was abbreviated as ASNL because of its first four letters being inappropriate to broadcast onscreen, and I doubt that Liverpool had used the letters LIVE to avoid confusion with the fact that the word LIVE was already on screen to denote that it was indeed live - L'POOL was presumably used back then. I know that Sky Sports abbreviated Arsenal as ARL up until 2016 when they realised that only the first three letters could be used.

    Regarding snooker, they used to flash the score onscreen in white letters every ten minutes or 50 points or so, and I would say they started to do that (the BBC at least) in around 1995 as well with a genetic font that fitted in with the snooker identity back then which I think was used up to 1997-1998. Prior to that, when snooker was shown on the TV, we used to see a faint "BCE" sign at the bottom of the table which seemed to be forgotten about by the viewer as soon as the Astons started to appear in its place.

    The earliest I have seen of a TV snooker match with graphics on it was the Ronnie O'Sullivan - Mick "The Postman" Price match from 1997 in which O'Sullivan did the fastest televised 147 in history - snooker's answer to Roger Bannister's Four Minute Mile which is frequently shown in snooker documentaries and when during the interval when there is time to spare at the Crucible. The names onscreen seemed to be a lot bigger in size than what would otherwise be on there - I have seen the same sort of graphics with smaller letters from 1995 which I assume was when they started doing this.

    I think that I take such captions for granted now when I watch sport on the TV - it's like a bookmark for those who have only just tuned in and want to know exactly what has been going on.

    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
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  • #2
    I think the permanent captions were more common for international games at first, the 1990 World Cup certainly had more use of on-screen displays compared to earlier events.
    The Trickster On The Roof

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