• Loading stock data...
Monday, June 24, 2024

Fox Sports, With $150M Commitment to USFL, Plans ‘Glowing’ Football

  • Illuminated ball could help TV viewers find the ball under goal-line scrums.
  • Fox was panned for its “glowing” hockey puck on NHL telecasts in the ‘90s.

Fox owns the rebooted USFL through USFL HoldCo, LLC. and is committing $150 million over three years.

Despite a threatened lawsuit, the rebooted USFL is pushing ahead with technological innovations such as a virtual first-down line and a sensor in every football. 

But the new spring football league’s biggest innovation is still to come. Are you ready for a “glowing” football?

The league will experiment with a football that “glows” when it reaches the goal line, according to Daryl Johnston, the ex-Dallas Cowboys fullback turned executive vice president of football operations for the USFL.

During game telecasts, viewers often can’t see the ball under the pile of bodies at the goal line, noted Johnston during a Monday appearance on Fox News. An illuminated ball could help.  

“That’s something we’re hoping to have this season,” Johnston said.

Fox has been here before. From 1996-1998, the network experimented with a “glowing puck” on NHL telecasts. 

The system (officially dubbed “FoxTrax”) was widely panned, particularly by hockey purists in Canada. Others thought the idea was ahead of its time.

Given the positive reaction to the USFL getting rid of old-fashioned first-down chains, a glowing football could get a warmer welcome this time.

The NFL also employs chips in its balls to generate Next Gen Stats

The original USFL (which operated from 1983-1985) has filed a lawsuit to stop USFL 2.0, according to ProFootballTalk

Larry Csonka, ex-GM of the Jacksonville Bulls, ripped Fox’s claim the defunct league’s brands don’t have value after 37 years.

“It boils down to this. If the USFL doesn’t have any value, why did FOX want it?” asked Csonka. 

But the rebooted USFL dismissed the original league’s claims as “frivolous.”

“The new USFL has registered trademarks with priority back to 2011 and announced the new league over ten months ago,” said counsel David Bernstein in a statement.

“This delayed, eleventh-hour attempt to halt the launch of the exciting new USFL is utterly frivolous. The new USFL is excited for its new season to begin.” 

The new USFL’s regular season will kick off April 16 and continue through June 19. 

Both Fox and NBC Sports will televise games this season, including a simulcast of the opening game.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Clock is Ticking to Restart Coyotes’ Franchise


Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.

Finals Draw Underwhelming Viewership, but NBA Juggernaut Rolls On

The impact will be negligible on the NBA’s $76 billion media-rights talks.
June 18, 2024

Roger Goodell Rips ‘Below Standard’ NFL Network Broadcasts in Trial Testimony

The commissioner testified in federal court that NFL Network was subpar.
June 18, 2024

Caitlin Clark Continues to be Enormous Box Office for the WNBA

Sunday’s Fever-Sky game was the most-watched WNBA broadcast in 23 years.

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
June 18, 2024

ESPN’s Up-and-Down NBA Season Ends With Finals to Forget

The Finals are set to stay on ESPN through 2036.
June 17, 2024

Leagues’ Disclosure Demands Add Complexity to DSG’s Bankruptcy Exit

The bankrupt regional sports network operator makes an emergency motion for a discovery conference.
June 17, 2024

Why U.S. Soccer Fans Can’t Watch Some Euro 2024 Games on Cable

The small number of matches are exclusively on the expensive streamer.
June 17, 2024

Charles Barkley’s ‘Retirement’ Could Be Last-Ditch Power Play

Barkley has always proved himself to be a master negotiator.