SBJ/August 14 - 20, 2006/This Weeks News

ESPN to put own stamp on ‘MNF’

New graphics include a different placement for the
on-screen scoreboard and clock.
Hank Williams Jr. will still open the show and the traditional “Monday Night Football” theme will be part of the introduction, but ESPN is planning to put its own stamp on the Monday night franchise with a new graphics package that it will unveil tonight.

The most obvious change has the scoreboard and clock moving to the center, lower-third part of the screen.

Another change will be a camera ESPN will have on the field. The NFL is allowing ESPN to test it in preseason. If it goes well, all networks can use it during the regular season.

“The biggest issue will be if we intrude on the game and slow it down,” said “Monday Night Football” director Chip Dean. “We’re going to try to be fairly conservative.”

ESPN’s introduction will debut Sept. 11 during its first regular-season game. The one-minute movie, dubbed “Transformation,” will show a city transforming into a football event, where buildings mold into the stadium, traffic cops become referees and pedestrians become cheerleaders.

“We wanted to do something more cinematic, something different from the usual giant, shiny 3-D animation that’s a staple of sports productions these days,” said Rick Paiva, ESPN’s vice president of creative services.

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