Global Sport Television

Seamless Flows and Sticking Points

Authored by: David Rowe

The Routledge Companion to Global Television

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138724341
eBook ISBN: 9781315192468
Adobe ISBN:


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Sport is perfect material for global television which, having overcome the restrictions imposed by analogue broadcast technology, is now a flexible and evolving mix of analogue and digital technologies. It is easily packaged and re-packaged, commanding massive viewerships or servicing the smallest market niches. In its most prized form, the live broadcast of a contest, the sport text is directed toward identified audiences and so customized for them (such as for a national team competing in the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic Games), while its reliance on action conducted according to an agreed set of (principally global) rules and procedures means that it can be easily decoded by diverse viewers across the world. Thus, sport television is simultaneously local and global, national and transnational. This chapter demonstrates the ways in which sport television both flows around the world and ‘lodges’ in particular national environments. But it is now only one (although still predominant) among many screen sport options. However, these technological advances in, and challenges to, global television do not render redundant key questions about the relationship between mediated sport and cultural citizenship around the globe.

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