With a (presumably) large national audience tuning in Friday night, Fox Sports showed off a new innovation that may become commonplace in sports television.
During a commercial break in Friday’s Texas A&M/Oklahoma Cotton Bowl telecast, FOX debuted a split-screen that displayed advertisements and game action side-by-side. The advertisement took up most of the screen, while the game remained in a tiny box in the right hand corner.
The move was not a one-off experiment. Sports Business Journal reported last year that FOX has promoted the split-screen format, called the “double-box” in the report, among league executives.
The ‘double box’ would work in two ways. The first is the commercial break format mentioned earlier, but the second figures to be far more controversial — “in-game advertising … an ad that runs in a box on-screen alongside the event footage, even during timeouts and other stoppages” (SBJ, 11/26). League executives were said to be “especially intrigued” by the idea.
While in-game advertising would almost certainly be a new and unwanted development for sports viewers, the split-screen commercial break will be an easier adjustment. The format has been used frequently over the years on NASCAR and IndyCar telecasts.
(Nov. article from Sports Business Journal)