The relationship between Sport and The Media

The mass media in any country play a huge role in creating and shaping the viewpoints and culture of a nation, often reflecting the mood of a particular nation. Until the recently developed digital media, which allows for two way communication, there were more traditional forms of media which only catered for one-way communication. These media forms include TV, Newspapers and Radio. Sport and the media have often had a complex and unstable relationship. However, both need the other as mass commercial media and sport are both driven by profit, as pointed out by McQuail, as a result of the professionalisation of the majority of sports. As a result of being driven by profit the mass media will often publish content that is not in line with its original first function which was to build a sense of nation, see Rowe & Whannel, but in line with its second function to entertain and attract advertisers.

Before the invention and development of digital media, which now enables sports clubs to produce and share their own content whilst also interacting with fans, traditional media was the only way in which to inform and entertain consumers who were not in attendance at a particular sporting event as shown below in the photo of the Boston Post. Newspapers often acted in the role of shraing information amongst its readers base about local, national and global events that had recently occurred. On the other hand, TV and Radio offered live coverage through either live images or live commentary of events as they were happening. As a result of this media companies often invest in live pictures the most as they are the most valuable content within sport due to the uncertain nature of sport that keeps fans entertained.

Image result for old sport newspaper

Furthermore, through TV and radio the media is able to spread information more easily as a result of the development of technology. Whilst digital media features have improved consumer experiences they are not possible without good base foundations from traditional media forms such as TV and Radio. TV has taken off to such an extent that mega events, such as the Super Bowl, have reached over 100 million viewers as I wrote in another one of my blogs here. The development of traditional media forms has led to a new advertising and digital interaction industry worth billions with the relationship between sport and the media being at the centre of this.

Whilst traditional media has its place within sport and society, what can traditional media do to adapt to promote more interaction? Will traditional media be displaced eventually by more digital forms? If yes, then comment what your suggestions are below!


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