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With the invention of television, Man has developed several different methods to properly display information across that medium. News shows, sitcoms, cartoons and sporting events all have changed their look over time. All types of programs have developed new ways to spread information to you, the viewer. One method has become the most common for sporting events and all-day news stations, and that's the BottomLine.

This BottomLine has nothing to do with professional wrestling and its catchphrases. The BottomLine is a bar appearing at the bottom of the screen which scrolls, or ticks, information. The first use of such a medium was for the stock exchanges. Stocks are very important to those who have bought shares in them. They can fluctuate quickly based on takeovers, mergers, failed products or new products. Since there are so many different stocks all over the world, it can be hard to display all of them on television. A screen full of text makes for horrible television as it does not keep the viewer's attention well. Another flaw is that everyone has different reading speeds, cutting off the slow readers and boring the fast ones. The solution was the stock ticker, a small bar on which text scrolled across. Viewers could wait for their stocks to scroll by while listening to a speaker or other television show.

News shows and sporting events, two similar programs, as they both report events, have jumped on the idea recently. 24 hour news stations, such as CNN's Headline News and Fox's Fox News, as well as several others, have developed a tickers for themselves. While these tickers do not show stock prices, they do go through the headlines for the different subjects covered by the station. Even some local television stations have started using their own tickers to cover national stories while they discuss the local news, or report breaking news.

When a sport is not involved in it's playoffs, several games are usually played each day. Followers of the sport crave up-to-date information. It only made sense that the ticker would be adopted to the sports scene as well. When it was first introduced, the ticker only showed up at certain times. Whenever that time hit, the screen would shrink, and the ticker appear, displaying up to the date results as well as news and headlines. With the advent of the 24 hour news station, ESPN and CNN, along with Sports Illustrated, decided to follow suit. ESPN launched ESPNews; CNN and Sports illustrated combined forces to create CNN-SI. On the bottom of the ESPNews channel, ESPN developed the BottomLine as their sports ticker. The BottomLine consists of two different rows, the top one, colored orange, displays the headers. The header is simply the names of the sports league, in order of when they'll be displayed next. The one highlighted in red is the one the ticker is currently displaying headlines for. The row underneath that is split into two parts. The left part, colored in red, displays the scores and news bites. The right part, colored black, displays notes about players of the game, whether it be lap times, hitting record, points scored, etc. Sportscasters on ESPNews often go to commercial by telling the viewer to keep watching the BottomLine, as it keeps ticking through most commercials.

The BottomLine is also a small application one can download from www.espnews.com. It works just like it does on the tv station of the same name. The BottomLine requires an internet connection to work, so that it can recieve up to the date information about the sports world. There are two different lock bottons, one for the top row, which would lock the ticker onto a perticular sport, and one on the bottom row, which can lock the ticker to a specific game. Clicking on the grey bulls-eye allows the headers to edited, displaying only the sports you want to know about. The BottomLine is available to download for Windows 98, and any other more recent windows release, and the Macintosh platform. I do not think there is a version available for Linux, *BSD, or any other "non-major" operating system.

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