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An example of a television news ticker, at the lower-third of the screen.
A news ticker (sometimes referred to as a "crawler") is a small screen space on news television networks dedicated to presenting headlines or minor pieces of news. It may also refer to a long, thin scoreboard-style display seen around the front of some offices or public buildings. The news ticker is used in Europe in countries such as Britainmarker, Germanymarker and Irelandmarker for some years, and the United States has been catching up recently. It is also used in several Asian countries as well as Australia.

United Kingdom

Two channels in the United Kingdommarker use the news ticker.

BBC News

The BBC News displays a grey ticker with white text using the Gill Sans font throughout the day, identical to BBC World News, except when trailers, countdowns and the weather is being broadcast. The ticker switches to red to display breaking news.

Sky News

Sky News displays a black ticker with white text throughout the broadcast day. This ticker turns yellow with black text for breaking news.


Several European news channels have used tickers as part of their on-air design for years. For example, Germanmarker news channel n-tv has had a news ticker since its launch in 1992.


In Australia, the first major use of news tickers also occurred in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001. Since the initial introduction, morning programs Sunrise and Today have kept tickers. Sky News Australia maintains a news ticker which use to features a stream of weather information before they updated their graphics. Now the ticker provides basic headlines about the latest news and sport. has also launched a news ticker in May 2009.



In China, CCTV uses news tricker in 21th century. Now you can see the news tricker in CCTV-2,CCTV-4,CCTV-5,CCTV-9,CCTV-News.


Almost all news channels in India uses a news ticker. Most of them uses two-band tickers, each having a different purpose.

Some stations, such as Sahara Samay, News Live etc. uses one of its ticker bands for advertising purposes.

Most of the news tickers used in India are scrolling ones; however, some make an exception. For instance, the normal news ticker in CNN-IBN uses a 'flipping' effect, although they use a scrolling-type ticker to display business quotes.

During breaking news broadcasts, CNN-IBN places an alternating BREAKING NEWS word and a news title on the upper band; and the news updates regarding to the news event at the bottom band.


GEO News uses a one-band scrolling ticker, with a white text on a blue background. The ticker displays news both in English and in Urdu. When a breaking news ticker is shown, the background becomes red, and the text (also displayed both in English and Urdu) doesn't scroll at all; instead it uses an animation to display the text. The upper band was also added during such event, having a white background over a red text. The upper breaking news band displays an alternating BREAKING NEWS word plus the news event title both in English and in Urdu.

The station sometimes incorporates a second news ticker above the normal ticker during certain special coverage.


GMA-7 was the first Philippine channel to utilise a ticker during news broadcasts. Its ticker usually provides news updates. In the early 2000s, traffic information from was also being shown; now it was discontinued.

GMA-7 regularly use tickers in 24 Oras and Unang Hirit. Saksi also incorporated a news ticker during significant events, such as when a severe storm is approaching the country. During the election period, tickers running with ballot updates were sometimes also placed during telenovela broadcasts.

Q, GMA's sister station, also incorporates news tickers on news programs Balitanghali and News on Q.

GMA's ticker usually has a current time placed on either the left or the right side of the bar; alongside with the running news information.

It was reported that GMA Pinoy TV broadcasts of Unang Hirit had its tickers blocked.

ABS-CBN is the next Philippine station to use tickers. ABS-CBN started to have its own ticker by 2003, and it has improved over the years. ABS-CBN has tickers in TV Patrol World and Umagang Kay Ganda. Its news channel ANC also has its own news ticker. ANC also usually place a stock market ticker provided by the Philippine Stock Exchange (it was actually a java applet superimposed on the lowerthird) above the usual news ticker.

Other networks which uses news tickers were NBN, TV5, RPN, IBC and Net 25, most especially during their own respective news broadcasts.


News tickers are being used in Astro Awani (in the form of a "flipper" ticker) and Bernama TV. While Astro Awani keeps their ticker going during commercial breaks, Bernama TV does not. It is the case for news programs on TV1, TV2, TV3, NTV7, and TV9.


In Singapore, MediaCorp Channel NewsAsia uses news ticker. The ticker features news headlines and, in the event of breaking news, there will be an additional line for the latest news updates.

North America

United States

Though modern and efficient news tickers were not popularized in the United Statesmarker until September 11, 2001, the first record of a news ticker as part of a regular broadcast is from NBC's Today show on its debut edition, January 14, 1952. Without the benefit of computer-generated headlines and graphics, the ticker was vastly different than the one we would know today. The Today ticker was an actual piece of paper with typewritten headlines superimposed on the lower third of the screen. The ticker was never very successful as a communications tool and was dropped not long thereafter.

By the 1980s, in northern parts of the United Statesmarker, many local television stations used a ticker placed over morning local and network newscasts to pass along information on school closings due to weather. Severe weather watch and warning information was also commonly run on local station tickers. In both cases, the start of the ticker's cycle was often accompanied by an attention signal, such as warning tones or a small jingle from the station's news theme or network (such as the NBC Chimes).

One of the first networks to regularly utilise a ticker was CNN Headline News. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the ticker featured stock prices during the daytime, and sports scores during the evening and weekend. CNBCmarker and forerunner network Financial News Network also debuted a ticker featuring stock prices during business hours. By the mid-1980s, ESPN featured an update ticker at the top and bottom of each hour, scrolling up-to-the-minute sports scores and news. By 1996, spin-off network ESPN2 debuted a ticker, dubbed the "BottomLine," which featured non-stop sports scores and news nearly twenty-four hours a day. ESPNEWS, after a 2000 redesign of their on-air look became the first network to keep their ticker going during commercial breaks.

While tickers had been used occasionally by other networks over the years, it was the September 11 attacks of 2001 that made the ticker a ubiquitous part of the television news experience. Needing a way to provide a continuous stream of vital but repetitive emergency information to viewers, Fox News Channel placed a ticker on-screen at 10:49 a.m. CNN launched its own ticker at 11:11 a.m., and MSNBC started one at approximately 2:00 p.m. Although the need for attack-related tickers lasted only a few weeks, the management at all three major U.S. news channels quickly decided that news tickers would help increase viewership amongst viewers with the ability to process multiple simultaneous streams of information. As a result, the tickers have been permanent features on all three channels ever since, except during some documentary programming, presidential speeches, or other selected programs.

In recent years, American cable news networks have used their news ticker to let viewers offer their opinions on the stories being covered, or depending on the occasion, sending messages to friends. During its coverage of New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square in New York Citymarker, Fox News lets viewers text well-wishes to family and friends for later broadcast on the news ticker. CNN also uses its ticker during Rick Sanchez's news hour on CNN Newsroom to give their opinions on stories that Sanchez is covering at the moment.

Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel, an American sister channel to Sky News, was the first news network in the United Statesmarker to debut a permanent news ticker, at 10:49 a.m, on the morning of the September 11 attacks in 2001. The ticker featured yellow-lettered sentences on a black band, with a general "Fox" logo in between them. From 2001 to 2004, the ticker featured an Helvetica Narrow font, after which it was replaced by a normal Helvetica font that is seen to this day. For a certain period in 2007, the letters were colored blue, but beginning with the September 24, 2007 edition of the Fox Report, the letters returned to a yellow color. For a time in late 2007 and 2008, the ticker's band was slightly transparent before going back to a black band. In 2008, a specific "Fox News" logo was placed between the ticker's sentences. Fox News' ticker is only removed from the air during the network's reruns of Fox News Sunday and late-night airings of the talk show Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld.


Less than half an hour after the debut of Fox News' ticker during the 9/11 attacks, CNN launched its own, at 11:11 a.m. The ticker became a staple on the network for the next seven years. It was given only a few, minor changes during its run, and always featured yellow-lettered sentences on a black band, with the CNN logo in between them. This made the ticker quite similar to the Fox News ticker. On Headline News (now HLN), CNN's sister channel, the ticker was the same except for a blue band, not black. CNN/U.S. and Headline News discontinued the ticker with the introduction of new on-screen graphics on December 15, 2008. It was replaced by a "flipper" ticker which had already been in use previously only on CNN International. CNN's tickers are only removed during episodes of CNN Presents or CNN Special Investigations Unit.


MSNBC, the cable counterpart of NBC News, was the last cable news network to debut a ticker on 9/11, at 2:00 p.m. Like Fox News and CNN, MSNBC's ticker had yellow letters, but the ticker's band was slightly transparent. When the network's on-screen graphics were re-vamped in 2006, the ticker was also changed. The new ticker had white letters, and the band was dark gray. The MSNBC ticker is seen during the network's morning and daytime broadcasts, but is removed during live prime-time broadcasts of Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show. The ticker is also absent during broadcasts of MSNBC Documentaries.

The ticker was changed on June 29, 2009 to a flipper-style ticker similar to that of CNN, coinciding with the beginning of high-definition broadcasts on MSNBC.


CNBCmarker, a business news network operated by NBC and MSNBC parent company General Electric, uses a special ticker to monitor the values of securities and indexes on the stock market. This ticker has been employed by the network since its inception in 1989. CNBC uses two tickers on its lower-third: an upper ticker with a white band and a lower ticker with a dark-blue band. The white ticker monitors market and commodity summaries, while the blue ticker monitors stocks. The tickers run at slightly different speeds. The blue ticker also reports news headlines and weather forecasts. CNBC's graphics also show a rotating ticker, partitioned into three segments, showing index and security prices. These tickers are absent during CNBC's prime-time programming, after the exchanges have closed.

Other Tickers

  • The morning shows of the three main broadcast networks in the United States -- Today on NBC, Good Morning America on ABC, and The Early Show on CBS -- display their own tickers during their programs. However, in some markets, local network affiliates display their own tickers over the network's. In the case of Today, no ticker may be seen at all during the show, again depending on the market.

  • Local television affiliates may air severe warnings from the National Weather Service by way of a ticker, accompanied by a beeping noise and an automated voice message. The ticker may appear at the lower-third or upper-third of the screen, depending on the station.

  • Trinity Broadcasting Network, or TBN, an evangelical Christian network based in Costa Mesa, Californiamarker, employs an on-screen digital feature much like a ticker during its Praise the Lord and Behind the Scenes shows. The ticker features white italicized letters on a band displaying a swirling mix of blue colors. Instead of news, TBN's ticker typically announces special events and program tapings at TBN studios. The tickers last the entire length of Behind the Scenes episodes, but are more prudently used during Praise the Lord episodes.

Current uses

The presentation of headlines or other information in a news ticker has become a common element of many different news networks. The use of the ticker has been different on a number of different channels, financial news channels using two or more tickers progressing at different speeds, displaying stock prices and business headlines. Networks with a focus on sports often use a slightly different system, where scores and status of current and finished games are displaced one by one, along with minor sports highlights. News networks commonly use a setup in which news headlines are scrolled across the bottom half of the screen, though some variations have formed, such as CNN International presenting them without a scrolling effect.

Usage of the scroller has also grown in a number of local news stations, used during hours of severe weather to provide information about storms and areas effected by them, in addition to other uses, such as presented school delays and cancellations during winter weather in some regions, and the presentation of headlines alike to the general news networks.

Due to their prevalence currently, they have been occasionally been made targets of pranks and vandalism. For example, News 14 Carolina used a ticker where viewers could submit relevant information such as school closings or traffic delays via telephone or Internet, and in February 2004 the system was exploited to display humorous messages, including the infamous "All your base are belong to us." [85241]

References in Popular Culture

The use of news tickers has also been parodied on a number of programs, including an episode of The Simpsons from 2003 (Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington), as well as a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Films such as Austin Powers in Goldmember sometimes place jokes within news crawls seen on screen. The Onion News Network uses a parody ticker to offer jokes in its online newscasts. The Australian show CNNNN went a step further: although it featured a joke news ticker throughout the show, one episode had a news ticker summarizing the initial news ticker, as well as one for the sight impaired, which covered the whole screen.

Famous artist Chamillionaire uses a news ticker in the music video for Hip Hop Police announcing the arrests of famous musicians.

Building news tickers

The most famous news ticker display is the "zipper" that circles One Times Squaremarker in New York City. The New York Times erected the first such display in 1928, and now several buildings in midtown Manhattan feature such a display. A similar display appears on the exterior of the Fox News/News Corporation headquarters in the west extension of Manhattan's Rockefeller Centermarker. Another ticker, displaying the latest stock details, is also located in Times Square.

Stock ticker on the Reuters building at Canary Wharf, London.
The Reuters buildings at Canary Wharfmarker and in Torontomarker have news tickers and stock ticker for the NYSEmarker, NASDAQ and LSE. The Toronto building's ticker also shows TSX quotes.

When NBC renovated 10 Rockefeller Center to accommodate the Today show in 1994, a red-LED ticker was added to the perimeter of the building at the juncture of the first and second floors. The ticker is visible to spectators in Rockefeller Plaza and passersby on West 49th Street and updates continuously, even when the show is off the air.

In Australia, The Seven Network has a ticker that wraps around The Seven NewsHeadquarters in Martin Placemarker. This Ticker is Identical to the Ticker that Airs on Seven Early News, Seven Morning News & Seven News at 4.30.

External links

See also

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