Many viewers did not like ESPN’s color choice for the network’s broadcast of Friday night’s College Football Playoff games.
ESPN introduced a new score bug for the special occasion, featuring a new design for the score, down marker and more. While the overall presentation was fine, viewers had a complaint with one item in particular: the down-and-distance graphic.
The graphic was in a gold color that somewhat resembled the yellow for penalty calls.
So @espn you have to fix that down and distance box. Make it green or something. I think there is a penalty every play
— Derek Tyson (@DerekJTyson) January 2, 2021
We need to ditch this Gold down and distance graphic. I think there’s a penalty on every play.
— Jeffrey Wright (@JWright929espn) January 1, 2021
Not a fam of the ESPN down graphic. Think there is a penalty out of the corner of my eye on every play.
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) January 1, 2021
For reference, here is how the ESPN graphic looks.
And here’s how it looks when there’s an actual penalty.
While there’s a distinct difference between the two colors, it’s easy to see how a casual viewer would often misinterpret the down-and-distance graphic as a penalty.
When asked by Sporting News whether the network would consider a change for the national championship game on Jan. 11, an ESPN spokesperson said it was “aware of the fan feedback.” The spokesperson added the production team will likely look at the issue in advance of the title game between Alabama and Ohio State.
ESPN couldn’t commit to a change, but it sounds as if it’s a consideration.