With the new year, NBC Sports unveiled an updated graphics package for today’s NHL Winter Classic on NBC and the English Premiere League on NBCSN. While clearly inspired by the previous graphics, the new package is no doubt bigger and bolder with curved sides, fully meant to take full advantage of large high definition television screens.
While the new graphics were used for both the Winter Classic and the English Premiere League, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be used for all live NBC sporting events just yet. It is possible that they will be rolled out in phases, much like how Fox, CBS and ESPN do when rolling out new graphics (ESPN has been rolling out new graphics during select college bowl games). We should have a better idea Saturday night with NBC’s NFL wildcard broadcast. NBC is broadcasting this year’s SuperBowl, so it would make sense to implement the new graphics for the largest televised broadcast of the year (in contrast, Fox Sports implemented new graphics just after broadcasting last year’s SuperBowl).
It’s also worth noting that the NBC Sports graphics have also been used for live events on the Comcast SportsNet regional networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, since 2012. Will these new graphics be rolled out for the CSN networks or will they be exclusively for NBC and NBCSN?
The previous NBC Sports graphics were my all-time favorite. They were well designed for both function and looks. They displayed the necessary information during a live games without ever being distracting or appearing awkward. They were absolutely beautiful as far as color with the right amount of gradient and the added sparkle effect.
As for the new graphics, after one game, I have no complaints about them functionality wise. As for looks, they lose some of the flair the previous set had. I’m not fond of the silver sided curves, while in some cases, some smaller text sloppily positioned. I’m not saying that I don’t like them — they do look very nice and have a nice polish — I just initially don’t like them as much as the previous set. There is a chance that NBC may still tweak these graphics as they get more use, and there is the chance they will grow on me once I get used to them.
You can judge the new graphics for yourself via the below photos.