SportsVision turns sports telecasts into more than a game

NPR covered the creators of one of the most famous and most infamous sports graphic innovations ever.

SportsVision, while not a household name, created the little yellow line that appears during football game telecasts, illuminating first downs. With every success, though, comes an innovation that draws the ire of true sports fans. Case in point: the glowing puck used by Fox in the mid 90’s.

“With wide-screen TVs and high definition, and these man caves and all the graphics and data that we give you that they can’t replicate at the game, a lot of fans are saying, ‘I’d rather stay home and watch it,’ ” said Hank Adams, SportsVision CEO.

“For a graphical enhancement to work, it has to be something that’s hard to see, happens a lot and is really important to the game,” Adams says. “And if we can meet those three criteria, it turns out to be very successful for us.”