This will be our final blog in the series of sport media ecology where throughout this series
we have aimed to provide an insight to the coverage of sport ecology through the hindsight
of football, with finer details into women’s football. Within this final blog, we will be
focusing on the rise of social media as a medium and how the durability of the television is
decreasing due to a rise in accessibility through online platforms.
This has caused a lack of the fidelity for the television as 44% of consumers watch less live
TV due to the result of live streaming content being available through collective
participatory media. This is due to technology allowing content to become even more real
on new media (Gantz & Lewis, 2014). Conveying the sense of ‘New Media‘ in the forms of
mediums are rising and ‘Old Media‘ consisting of the television, radio and movies are slowly
becoming less popular. This is due to mass media constantly changing throughout the
decades, instigating media producers to adjust (McQuail & Deuze, 2020: University of
Minnesota, 2016). For the Millennial generation in the UK during the 80s, the television was
ideally a young person’s favourite item of technology, whereas Generation Z prefer social
media/streaming platforms where they can access content virtually and globally 24/7. This is
known as media convergence where football teams create a consolidated ownership base in
order to circulate consumer interaction (Kastenholz, 2021).
Subscriptions are one of the issues causing the decline of television use due to fees soaring
in recent years as fans are able to watch games on online platforms. This was first noticed in
the 2017 Premier League season where Sky Sports and BT sports viewing figures were down
19% from the previous years, hence why 4 in 10 consumers illegally stream matches at least
once a season, with 11% of fans admitting this is a weekly routine to avoid charges
(Armstrong, 2017; Sylvester, 2017).
The first football game broadcasted on TV was by BBC in 1937 in a game between Arsenal
and Arsenal Reserves but was only accessible for homes in the vicinity of the grounds. The longevity of football broadcasting has influenced convergence culture, a transitional period
from the form of broadcasting into online streaming platforms, and is being developed
through an era with the help of the introduction of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 (Delfanti &
Arvidsson, 2019; Jenkins, 2006). Gantz and Lewis, (2014) commented on how fans are
expressing their behaviour through digital self-expression and extended fan ship network,
where they can create para-social interactions which would be unattainable if the new
mediums did not come into place.
I personally, enjoy watching football games live on the TV with family members and friends as it brings a sense of togetherness and have the ability to discuss performances throughout.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!