ESPN listened to the critics and adapted its broadcast of the College Football Playoff championship game Monday night.
During the telecasts of the Playoff semifinal matchups — Notre Dame vs. Alabama and Ohio State vs. Clemson — ESPN used a different layout for its presentation. Among the differences was a gold background for the down-and-distance marker on the bottom score bug.
The color closely resembled a penalty marker, and it left many viewers confused throughout the broadcast. Sporting News asked ESPN about the graphic and a spokesperson said the company was “aware of the fan feedback.” The spokesperson added that the production team would likely look at the issue in advance of the title game.
For Monday night’s national championship game between Alabama and Ohio State, the network ended up changing the color of the down-and-distance marker. The color is now more of a white. It’s a slight change but enough to get rid of any further complaints.
Here’s how the down-and-distance marker looked in the semifinal matchups.
And here’s the updated look from the championship game.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time ESPN has changed its down-and-distance graphic after fan complaints. In 2019, ESPN debuted its “Monday Night Football” package with an extremely yellow first-and-down graphic, that was much worse than the one in the semifinal games.
Although, that graphic was changed during the course of the game. Fans had to wait a little bit for the update to the college version.