Blog > 19 January, 2023
What is a score bug? How does it work? How do I create my own?
Score bugs, also known as score tickers, are small graphic overlays that display real-time information related to the program or event being broadcast on television. They are most commonly used in live sports broadcasts to show the current score, the names of the teams playing, the time remaining in the game, and other important statistics.
The origin of the term is not entirely clear. It is possible that the name "bug" comes from the fact that these small graphic overlays are often placed in the corner of the screen, similar to how a bug might be found in the corner of a window.
It is also possible that the term "score bug" is simply a colloquialism that has been adopted by the industry, and there is no specific origin for the name. 🤷♀️
Score bugs are an essential part of the live sports viewing experience, as they allow viewers to stay up-to-date on the latest scores and statistics even if they can't watch the entire game.
The first time a score bug was used in a live sports broadcast was in 1992 during an English Premier League match. Its inventor was the Sky Sports head, David Hill, who was dissatisfied over having to wait to see what the score was after tuning into a match in-progress. Hill's boss repeatedly demanded that the graphic be removed, describing it as the "stupidest thing [he] had ever seen". Hill defied the boss's demands and kept the graphic in place. Since then, score bugs have become an essential part of live sports broadcasts, and are now used in almost every major sporting event.
"The stupidest thing I've ever seen" - Boss of the inventor of the score bug
Score bugs can also be used in other types of programming, such as news or financial programs, to display stock prices or other relevant data. They can also be used in social media platforms, to engage with the audience and provide real-time updates.
There are many different solutions available for creating a score bug, including both hardware and software options.
We would recommend using a software solution for 2 reasons:
Nonetheless, the score bugs used by professional broadcasters are often created using hardware solutions.
We would also recommend using an online scoreboard software which runs in the browser, as opposed to an installable software package. The advantages are:
Here's an example of one of KeepTheScore.com's score bugs being used in a live broadcast:
The admin panel for the score bug is shown below. It does not require any software to be installed and simply runs in your browser.
If you want to create a your own score bug on KeepTheScore.com, read on below.
Here are the steps you need to take:
If you want detailed instructions for the OBS software take a look at this article: How to add a scoreboard to your live broadcast with OBS.
The basic scoreboard is free, and you can start using it right away.
Some extra features, such as setting team logos, cost money. You can read more about that on our pricing page.
Do you have a question, feedback, or a feature request?
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