Fox's major contribution to the world of televised hockey broadcasts, and a lesson in resistance to new technology.

Developed by the Advanced Technology Center in 1996, the motivation behind the Fox Trax puck was that hockey pucks were supposedly hard to follow as they swung across the ice. People with small TV sets especially had problems when the puck would shrink to as small as a few pixels. Fox's solution to this was to outfit arenas with special sensors that allow producers to triangulate the puck's position; and to introduce a glowing halo that would highlight the puck's position. This was especially handy when the puck went close to the boards nearest the cameras. The puck was also outfitted with an accelerometer, so that when it was shot hard, it would display a small comet trail and its speed in miles per hour.

Baseball has managed to weave in the idea of radar guns and other visual aids to display ball and bat speed, but the idea of changing the hockey puck's fundamental appearance struck a nerve with many hockey fans. Many near the Canadian border chose to watch games on CBC instead; those not so lucky wrote angry letters to Fox demanding that the puck be stopped. It was pulled shortly after its introduction, and Fox would go on to revive it later in the season with toned-down graphics. To make a long story short, Fox couldn't please the audience, and it decided not to bid for future seasons.

There's a moral to come from this: don't impose radical changes on your customers without making sure that they're fine with the changes. Moreover, if your customers are so outraged with these changes, take them back! Before spending about $40 per puck, Fox did little to show that it had foresight about this idea. They poured a lot of money into the project, and ended up with little to show for it.

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