The Sport Broadcasting Industry Panorama

During the first week of the Sport Broadcasting module [see here the module overview] the idea is of offering an overview – or some sort of panorama – of the sport broadcasting industry and particularly how the symbiotic relationship between sport and media developed over the last century.

Possibly the first question that might arises when looking at the symbiotic relationship between sport and media is how two complete different worlds as David Rowe claims became so entangled that we probably cannot envision a situation where one does exist without the other. In a way, the symbolic (media) needs the physical (sport) – and vice-versa – to be what we separately understand today as sport and media. And perhaps the current covid-19 pandemic provides us with a precise example to this necessity when live sport became unavailable and thus the distinct media channels had to find and develop alternative programs to fill this void. The reliance of sport on media and vice-versa during the last 100 years showcases how both developed together and are part and parcel of wider societal transformations that are normally pinpointed to the period of rapid industrialisation and modernisation during Victorian and Edwardian Britain.

In a way we can think that both sport and media carried out similar functions as other societal elements of that time – think of schools or the army for instance – by having the creation of a sense of national unity [or imagined community as Benedict Anderson would call it] and of education as their primary goals. Nevertheless, sport and media also have a shared third goal – entertaining. To understand how those goals are interrelated and reinforce each other is essential for comprehending how the relationship between sport and media has changed over the last hundred years.

In the remainder of the lead lecture I will focus on the two big areas we will discuss over the next 7 weeks: i) the relationship between traditional media (newspaper, radio, and TV), new media (digital, Internet) and local and global identities; ii) race/ethnicity, gender and disability representations on sports media. Those two areas will be the foundation for the two assessments you have to complete in this module – the video podcast about area #1, and the essay about area #2.

As part of the asynchronous activities for the week you will have to watch the below TED Talk and engage in discussions on our forum on MyBeckett and/or MS Teams (check for the leading questions there)

How Sports and the Media Influence our Beliefs – TED Talk

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