Sport Beyond Television
The Internet, Digital Media and the Rise of Networked Media Sport
Routledge – 2012 – 238 pages
Television is no longer the only screen delivering footage and news to people about sport. Computers, the Internet, Web, mobile and other digital media are increasingly important technologies in the production and consumption of sports media. Sport Beyond Television analyzes the changes that have given rise to this situation, combining theoretical insights with original evidence collected through extensive research and interviews with people working in the media and sport industries. It locates sports media as a pivotal component in online content economies and cultures, and counteracts the scant scholarly attention to sports media when compared to music, film and publishing in convergent media cultures.
An expanding array of popular sports media – industry, user, club, athlete and fan produced – is now available and accessible in networked digital communications environments. This change is confounding the thinking of major sports organizations that have lived off the generous revenue flowing from exclusive broadcast contracts with free-to-air and subscription television networks for the last five decades. These developments are creating commercial and policy confusion, particularly as sports audiences and the advertising market fragment in line with the proliferation of niche channels and sources of digital sports media.
Chapters in this title examine the shift from broadcast to online sports media markets, the impact of social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook, evolving user and fan practices, the changing character of sports journalism, and the rise of sports computer gaming. Each chapter traces the socio-cultural implications of trends and trajectories in media sport.
'Hutchins and Rowe…move the debate forward in an important book, built on extensive original research, that explores sport beyond television and in so doing maps out the complex environment within which popular cultural content gets produced, circulated and consumed in the digital age. The authors are careful not to fall into the trap of dismissing television as insignificant in the networked online era of communication. Rather, they position sports content within a more extensive and complex environment and in so doing they succinctly sketch out, in some detail, a new landscape of disruption and change, but also connect with media traits that bear the hallmarks of continuity in an age of change.' - Raymond Boyle, University of Glasgow, UK in Media, Culture & Society
'Yet what is most impressive in this book is the particular attention paid to what has remained unchanged, and how the existing sports economy is able to adjust itself in negotiation with the new media. The most striking example pertains to the authors’ continuous discussion of television. Instead of seeing online communication as a total substitute for sport broadcasting, Hutchins and Rowe emphasize the remaining influence of television, arguing that contemporary online sport communication actually installs and extends the television screen to the computer screen and in turn forms "multiscreen" spectatorship. The broadcasting companies, far from surrendering in the digital war over sport content, are among the most powerful agents to possess and use digital media to extend their screen coverage. This argument reminds us that new-media studies can never stand alone but need to situate these technological innovations in the historical coexistence with traditional media.' - Yuan Gong, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA in the International Journal of Sport Communication
'As the global sports and new media industries continue to grow in popularity and economic importance, their dynamic inter-relationship is also becoming increasingly sophisticated. Indeed, for a considerable time now, the rapid developments within the media–sport nexus have necessitated a thorough and up-to-date examination of its current, uncertain state. With their research monograph Sport Beyond Television, Brett Hutchins and David Rowe, two of the leading scholars in the field of sport, culture and the media, respond directly to the need for a comprehensive analysis of the sport–media complex at this pivotal juncture in the industry’s evolution.' - Leon Weber, University of Glasgow, UK in the International Review for the Sociology of Sport
1. Introduction: Fishing for Eyeballs 2. Television and the Internet 3. Networked Media Sport 4. Blogging, Social Networking Sites and Information Accidents 5. Online Crowds and Fandom 6. Sports Journalism: Convergence and a Leaking Craft 7. Computer Games and the Refashioning of Media Sport 8. The Future: Networks, Telecoms, and Access
Brett Hutchins is Co-Director of the Research Unit in Media Studies at Monash University. His recent publications appear in Media, Culture & Society, Information, Communication & Society, Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, Convergence, and International Journal of Communication. He is the author of Don Bradman: Challenging the Myth (Cambridge University Press).
David Rowe is Professor of Cultural Research in the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney. His books include Globalization and Sport: Playing the World (co-authored, Sage), Sport, Culture and the Media: The Unruly Trinity (Open University Press) and Global Media Sport: Flows, Forms and Futures (Bloomsbury Academic).