I love a good conspiracy theory, especially when it's about something that does not matter at all. So today is a great day.
Many NFL RedZone viewers noticed on Sunday that they could no longer see the game clock on Fox's scorebug during the late afternoon slate of games. It turns out Fox did, in fact, move its scorebug down on the screen from the early slate — coincidentally just enough that the clock was no longer visible on RedZone.
Eventually, RedZone replaced the Fox graphics entirely with its own scorebug so viewers knew how much time was left and what down it was. You know, things generally important to know when watching football.
This is actually really fascinating to me. Fox pays the NFL just over $2 billion a season for the right to broadcast its games, so of course it wants people to watch on Fox rather than on RedZone — especially the 4:00 national games. But RedZone is a property owned and operated by the NFL itself. So it's not like Fox is trying to screw over a competitor like NBC or CBS, it's trying to take viewers away from a channel owned by the very league it's broadcasting.
I would love to listen to the phone calls which will surely be taking place this week between Fox and the NFL, because I'm sure neither side is particularly thrilled with the other. But RedZone has been around for years, so I'm curious why Fox just decided to pull this stunt now.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see if you're able to tell what down it is or how much time is left on RedZone this Sunday.