Despite debuting in the preseason to mixed reviews, NBC will keep its new “Green Zone” graphics package for Sunday Night Football this season. It is a new take on the traditional yellow first down lines networks have been using for the past two decades. The Green Zone highlights the part of the field between the line of scrimmage and the first down marker and is only used by NBC on third downs.
Fred Gaudelli, producer of Sunday Night Football told Richard Deitsch of The Athletic that most of the complaints he’s heard are just resistance to the network trying something new. “I think people still need to get used to it. It is one of those things you don’t notice unless you want to notice it. The same thing when people started running crawls beneath programs. They become benign when you don’t want them and useful when you do.”
He was aware that not everyone would love The Green Zone before it debuted, but Gaudelli doesn’t seem overly eager for the graphics package to gain sweeping approval right away. He told Deitsch that it is important to remember that the people that truly hate The Green Zone don’t even see it as much as they think they do. “When it is in and you don’t like it, it doesn’t affect the viewing experience and I think it is helpful for some people.”