(3)No better story than sport! Why do people want to replicate it?

Sports provide a unique story-telling aspect that television cannot replicate. On a global level, sports are a medium for spectators to share their collective experiences of the same event. Fans of sports teams, whether it be in person at a stadium, or watching at home, come together in a shared admiration of the game. Experiencing the same emotions of joy, sorrow, and excitement together creates a bond between viewers and teams that cannot be replicated with any other kind of storytelling (McMahon, 2016).

One example of this is the way sports media often follows the career arcs of key athletes. Fans can become emotionally invested in an individual’s journey through the highs and lows of their career, from the emergence of a new star to the struggles of an aging veteran. This sense of journey is something that television cannot replicate because the “story is happening in real-time” (Cohen, 2017). While a show may have a narrative arc that plays out over the course of a season, a sports career can span decades, with changes in fortune often occurring in the blink of an eye. The recent World Cup triumph by Argentina is one that many fans of not only Argentina but football are proud of, due to the fact that Lionel Messi won the most treasured prize in football, with many now believing he deserves the status of ‘best player ever’.

The real-time nature of sports also means that no two stories are ever the same. Every match, every game, and every season presents a unique set of obstacles and triumphs to both athletes and fans alike. This is something that television cannot replicate as it is often scripted and predictable. While television shows may feature surprise twists and turns, “sport is unpredictable and that’s part of its beauty” (Cohen, 2017).

Lastly, sports also provide an opportunity for viewers to celebrate and be proud of their heritage and culture. This is especially true for international sports, such as the World Cup, which allows viewers to come together and be proud of their respective countries. This can be seen through the immense support that Mexico and the US receive when they play in the World Cup, with their fans displaying immense pride and joy for their respective teams (Fierro, 2017).

Disclaimer before reality show The Only Way Is Essex begins.

Overall, sports provide a unique story-telling experience that television cannot replicate. Through the shared emotions of viewers and the unique narrative arcs that span over a season, sports create a sense of community and pride that viewers cannot experience with any other kind of storytelling. It is no surprise that many TV shows have to state beforehand that the entertainment has been ‘spiced’ up for our entertainment, who would’ve thought TV producers would want to copy a simple sports game?


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