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The Media Learning Objectives: By the end of the unit you should have a knowledge and understanding of: - What the main forms of media are. - The different ways in which sport, sporting events and competitions are covered in the media - The advantages of some forms of media over others.

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Learning Objectives:

By the end of the unit you should have a knowledge and understanding of:

- What the main forms of media are.

- The different ways in which sport, sporting events and competitions are covered in the media

- The advantages of some forms of media over others.



The media – including TV, newspapers, the internet and radio are extremely influential in sport. One of the greatest strengths is as a source of information and a shaper of ideas and views. This can influence people to take part in sport.

the press


All daily newspapers have sports sections, usually at the back. Some, especially the weekend papers will have separate sports supplements.

This form of media is very influential as not only do they print results, match reports, team news, rule changes and fixtures but they also comment on many major sporting issues – and especially about sporting personalities.

The Press



There has been a great increase in the number of specialist sports magazines in recent years and most sports have at least one publication devoted to them. They concentrate on issues to do with those sports and often print very detailed information for the readers.



These can vary from novels with sporting themes to textbooks dealing with particular aspects of sport.

Some of the most controversial books recently have been autobiographies.



Television has become one of the most powerful and most commonly accessed forms of media.

It transmits as digital and analogue.

The introduction of digital TV, along with satellite broadcasting, led to huge increases in the output of sport on TV. In fact, dedicated sports channels were introduced with Sky Sports 1 being the first, launching in 1991. Digital TV has also led to ‘pay per view’ sports events.

satellite television
Satellite Television

Sky launched its sky sports service in 1991 and you could obtain its service by subscription in 1992.

At present there is Sky Sports 1,2,3,4 and 5. As well a number of HD channels, other sports channels and individual team stations. It also possible to choose your own camera angle whilst watching a game.

There are also a number of pay per view events available on sky.

Sky currently have the rights to show the live premiership football matches, something they paid a staggering 1 billion pound for.


Terrestrial (Analogue) Television

The terrestrial (analogue) television programmes are those that can be received by ordinary televisions using just an aerial and you must pay a TV licence fee to watch these programmes.

The BBC receive money to pay for making and transmitting their programmes from the licence fee which each household with a television must pay. The other four channels are what is known as ‘independent networks’ and they raise all their money through advertising revenue for adverts shown during commercial breaks.

Television companies bid for the sporting events that are shown on television. This means they negotiate with the individual sports (sometimes with organisers of specific competitions) for the right to televise the activity. This had led to a lot of competition between rival TV companies for the rights to show certain sports


Television (cont)

In the UK, sport has been regulated and controlled since the Television Act 1954. This gave the government power to draw up a list of protected events.

These ‘listed events’ cannot be shown exclusively on ‘pay per view’ channels (for example on Sky/Cable). This list was revised in January 1999 and the listed events were placed in two categories. They are commonly known as ‘The Crown Jewels’ of TV sporting events.


Listed events


Olympic Games

Fifa World Cup Finals

European Football Championships

FA Cup Final

Scottish Cup Final

Wimbledon (finals weekend)

The Grand National

The Derby

Rugby League Challenge Cup Final

Rugby World Cup Final


Cricket Test matches played in England

Non-finals at Wimbledon

Six Nations Rugby matches (involving home nations)

All other Rugby World Cup matches

Commonwealth Games

World Athletics Championship

Cricket World Cup (finals, semi-finals and matches involving home nations)

The Open Golf Championship

The Ryder Cup


Television (cont)

The basic difference between the two groups is that there is a legal requirement that the events listed in Group A must be made available to ‘free to air’ terrestrial television, while the Group B events can have live coverage on pay TV as long as there are satisfactory arrangements for secondary coverage (such as highlights) by a ‘free to air’ broadcaster.

Why do you think this act was put into place?

Many sports governing bodies have sold TV rights to digital TV companies such as Sky for large amounts of £. Eg The ECB sold English TV cricket rights to Sky in 2005 after the Ashes win. Do you think this has benefited Cricket?

types of programmes broadcast
Types of programmes broadcast

There is a wide variety of different ways in which television shows and promotes sport including: (There is 9 on the list, how many can you get?)

- Live sporting action

- Highlights programmes

- Documentaries

- Quiz Programmes

- News Bulletins

- Information Services (Ceefax and Teletext)

- Coverage of major sporting events

- Educational, schools, skill programmes

- Dedicated channels (such as Manchester United TV)



As with TV, the introduction of digital radio, DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), has led to an increase in the number of radio stations broadcasting and the introduction of dedicated sports channels, egTalksport, 5 live sport extra.

Radio has some advantages over TV in terms of broadcasting:

The broadcasting costs are much lower.

Radios are portable, cheap and plentiful and listeners can tune in whilst driving or whilst on the move, so the potential audience is bigger.


Most radio stations cover sport in much the same format as television, but obviously without the pictures.

However this works in radios favour as it is not considered as a rival/ threat by television companies and therefore are allowed to cover all major sporting events. It is quite common to have events broadcast on TV and radio at the same.


Information Technology

This is the most recent addition to the ranks of media. The widespread use of computers now allows far greater use of technology.

CD ROMS can be used as a source of information.

However the internet has the greatest influence as a provider of information, with literally thousands of websites allowing access to a wealth of information on sport and leisure. All major TV, radio and press use IT to further enhance their sporting coverage.

in our next lesson we will look at the influence of the media


  • List 5 advantages of sports coverage on TV
  • List 5 advantages of sports coverage on the radio.
  • List 5 advantages of sports coverage in the press.
  • List 5 advantages of sports coverage using IT.

In our next lesson we will look at the influence of the media.