News ticker

News ticker
An example of a television news ticker, at the lower-third of the screen.

A news ticker (sometimes referred to as a "crawler") resides in the lower third of the television screen space on television news 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 has been used in Europe in countries such as Britain, Germany and Ireland for some years, and the United States has been catching up recently. It is also used in several Asian countries and Australia.

Since the growth in usage of the World Wide Web, news tickers have largely syndicated news posts from the websites of the broadcasting services which produce the broadcasts.



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

United Kingdom

Two channels in the United Kingdom 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.


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, although they have both since stopped; Sunrise changed to a news "flipper" (showing one headline on screen for a few seconds before alternating to the next headline, instead of scrolling across the screen) and Today uses a ticker for weather forecast details only.

Sky News Australia maintained a news ticker which used to feature a stream of weather information before they updated their graphics. Now the ticker provides basic headlines about the latest news and sport. The weather information is located on the left, and the time for every Australian and New Zealand timezone on the right.

The ABC Midday Report, along with Seven & Nine's early, morning, and afternoon bulletins have adopted the news ticker. Ten's early morning news, ABC News Breakfast and the ABC News 24 channel all use a news flipper.

The website also launched a news ticker in May 2009.



In China, China Central Television uses a news ticker on CCTV-2, CCTV-4, CCTV-5, CCTV-9 and CCTV-News.


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

Some stations, such as Sahara Samay, News Live etc. use 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.


There are two national (broadcast nationally) news channels in Indonesia, Metro TV and TV One, and both occupy news ticker all day. Local (broadcast regionally, usually only cover a city or province) news channels also follow this practice. Other national and local channels, occupy news ticker occasionally, primarily on news programs to show up-to-date news. On other programs, they may use news ticker to show breaking news or simply to endorse advertisements.


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. ARY News , Pakistan largest TV Network with popular coverage in Europe and US also use Ticker for BREAKING NEWS in Red color, latest News in Yellow color and normal news in White color. Ticker is popular form for breaking the News in Pakistan. Daily more than 300 to 400 tickers are being scrolled.


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.

It was reported that GMA Pinoy TV broadcasts of Unang Hirit and 24 Oras had their tickers blocked.[citation needed][clarification needed]

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, Umagang Kay Ganda, Bandila, and News Patrol. Its news channel ANC also has its own news ticker. ANC had also a news ticker since 2005, also usually placed 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. the stock ticker only appears on Mornings@ANC and Business Nightly.

Their tickers usually have a current time placed on either the left or the right side of the bar; alongside with the running news information.

Other networks which uses news tickers were TV5, NBN, RPN, IBC, UNTV 37 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 tickers. The ticker features news headlines and, in the event of breaking news, there will be an additional line for the latest news updates.


Thailand television always have news ticker in different ways since the 90's.


News tickers started using in Vietnam since June 5, 2010 (main updates to the news programs) on VTV1 only in news program at 6:00, 12:00 and 19:00, along with other updates such as current time, new news room, new news logo.

North America

United States

Al Jazeera English screenshot, including ticker.

Though modern and efficient news tickers were not popularized in the United States 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 digital on-screen 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 States, 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).[clarification needed]

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. CNBC and forerunner network Financial News Network also debuted a ticker featuring stock prices during business hours. However prior to 1996, these stock tickers could only show preselected stocks making the system highly manual and clumsy. The first fully automated stock ticker to appear on television was in 1996 on the CNNfn network.

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.[1] 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 City, Fox News lets viewers text well-wishes to family and friends for later broadcast on the news ticker. CNN also used its ticker during Rick Sanchez's news hour on CNN Newsroom to give their opinions on stories that Sanchez was covering at that moment.

Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel, an American sister channel to Sky News, was the first news network in the United States 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 translucent 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.

During Election Day, an "election bar" is coupled with the news ticker to show the current statuses of candidates. It is the only time that CNN's ticker remains running and visible during commercial breaks.


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 The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Hardball and The Rachel Maddow Show. The ticker is also absent during broadcasts of MSNBC Documentaries, and during the daytime shows that show a "rundown banner" (The Daily Rundown and The Dylan Ratigan Show).

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.


CNBC, 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 also appeared and visble during CNBC's prime-time programming, along with paid programming, after the exchanges have closed. Computers at that time could not keep up with the full stock feed and as such the ticker could only show preselected stocks making the system highly manual and clumsy. The first fully automated stock ticker to appear on television was in 1996 on the CNNfn network.


CNNfn, a business news newtork operated by CNN, was the first to create a fully automated stock ticker for the television. Until 1996, computers were not able to maintain the entier stock feed in memory to enable delaying everything by 15 minutes. Previous tickers implementations were preselected subsets of the feed and could not automatically select stocks of interest without manual intervention. Working with SGI and Standard and Poor's data feed, Nils B. Lahr, a developer at CNNfn, developed the first system that could delay the entire stock market while also displaying it dynamically on television as a ticker. This was a major advancement as the viewers, for the first time, understood that the ticker represented all available stocks and thus would refelct any vital changes without manual intervention or pre-selected stock selections.

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 depending on the market.
  • The Weather Channel, a weather-centric cable news channel co-owned by NBC Universal, Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, uses a ticker which (as of 2010) displays the current temperature in the viewer's area, forecasted conditions, and the current time by time zone (EST-PST). During severe weather, the ticker turns from blue and gold to a red background, with a beeping alert noise and a ticker indicating a severe weather warning or watch being issued within range of the viewer's location by the National Weather Service. 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. Viewers on satellite receivers do not receive this ticker on their broadcasts, as it is inserted at the cable head-end for cable television viewers and is localized for that area.
  • Trinity Broadcasting Network, or TBN, an evangelical Christian network based in Costa Mesa, California, 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.
  • For music and music video channels, the usage of ticker has varied. IMX (later Daily Download), which ran from 2003-2006 on Fuse TV, used a ticker to display the current scores (or "stock value") of bands, albums, music videos and TV offerings according to the online game played by users of IMX's website; the values of the properties were influenced by current Billboard charts and concert sales, among other criteria. MTV, since 2008, features a music ticker for the musical works and artists used in commercials.


Like United States, tickers are used usually only on 24-hour news channels such as CBC Newsworld and CTV News Channel.

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 use 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, and showing one headline at a time.
  • 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." [1]

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.

Musician Chamillionaire used 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 Square 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 Center. 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 Wharf and in Toronto have news tickers and stock tickers for the NYSE, 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 News Headquarters in Martin Place. This ticker is identical to the ticker that airs on Seven Early News, Seven Morning News & Seven News at 4.30.

See also

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • news ticker — ˈnews ticker 7 [news ticker] (also ticker) noun a line of text containing news which passes across the screen of a computer or television See also: ↑ticker …   Useful english dictionary

  • news ticker — noun a) A device, used primarily in the 20th century, which printed out incoming news stories on paper tape. My new cell phone has a news ticker feature. b) Any device for displaying incoming news stories …   Wiktionary

  • news ticker — /ˈnjuz tɪkə/ (say nyoohz tikuh) noun a band at the bottom of a television screen on which headlines or small news items are presented in a continuous stream; newsbar. {news + ticker (tape)} …  

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  • Ticker — can mean:* A stock ticker machine and the ticker tape (paper strips) it prints on * Ticker symbol, codes used to uniquely identify publicly traded companies on a stock market * News ticker, a small screen space on news television networks… …   Wikipedia

  • News 4 New York — is the brand identifier of WNBC TV in New York City. It began using this for its news broadcasts in 1971 to 1972, again on October 13, 1980, and again in March 2008. Prior to this, WNBC used the NewsCenter 4 brand for their newscasts. In… …   Wikipedia

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  • ticker — /ˈtɪkə / (say tikuh) noun 1. someone or something that ticks. 2. US → tape machine. 3. Colloquial a watch. 4. Colloquial the heart. 5. Colloquial courage; bravery: *John Howard … didn t have the ticker to stand up for his country against Pauline… …  

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