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What Is a Score Bug?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2014
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A score bug, or scorebar, is a graphic that appears on TV, the Internet or other media during sports-related broadcasts to keep viewers informed of sports scores in a timely manner. This graphic can be anywhere on the screen, but it commonly appears at the top of the screen or toward the bottom, where it is out of the way of the main image on the screen. A scorebar usually is relatively simple in appearance and contains team names, scores and other information pertinent to the sporting event; the television network's logo also may be included. This graphic primarily is used to keep viewers informed of the status of a particular sporting event. Graphics on the scorebar can be continuous or static, and both types are commonly used.

While it technically can appear anywhere on a screen, depending on how the station programs its broadcasts, a score bug usually will appear at the top or near the bottom, in part because these spots are easy for viewers to see. These spots also keep the scorebar from obstructing whatever programming is being broadcast, so viewers can view the bar at their convenience. The left and right sides of a screen also have been used, but this is uncommon.

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The score bug is typically simple in design, though it may be very colorful and have subtle design elements added into the edges and background. Images — such as the broadcasting station’s logo and, perhaps, the teams’ logos — typically are used with the scorebar. Text usually includes the teams’ names and their respective scores. Other information, including the time, innings or laps remaining in the competition, also may be added to the bug.

Graphics come in two main styles on a score bug. Continuous graphics are made to change throughout a game. Some continuous graphics, such as a time keeper or a graphic that tracks laps, change often while others, such as the graphic used to track scores, may change slowly. Static graphics, such as logos and detailed spreadsheets that appear from the score bug during breaks, rarely change during the game.

A score bug primarily is used to inform viewers about important details regarding a sports event. Without the scorebar, viewers will not know these details unless they listen to commentators, who may be unwilling to share this information. Advertisements also may be displayed in the bar, but this is uncommon because they tend to distract viewers from the game.

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