Learning Objectives: By the end of the unit you should have a knowledge and understanding of: - What makes up the media - The different ways in which sport is covered in the media - The positive and negative effects which the media have on sport
? ? The Media ? ?
Introduction 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 and this can influence people to take part in sport.
Newspapers 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. How many advantages and disadvantages can you think of for this form of media?
Magazines 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. Books 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 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. Group A Group B The Olympic Games Commonwealth Games The Grand National Ryder Cup FIFA World Cup Finals Test Matches (Cricket) Rugby World Cup Final RWC matches FA Cup Final Wimbledon Games Wimbledon Tennis Finals World Athletics Rugby League Cup Final Five Nations
Television Continued: 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? The body that regulates the arrangements for the televising of sport is the Independent Television Commission (ITC).
The BBC and other channels The terrestrial 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 three 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.
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.
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)
Benefits TV brings to sport Television clearly benefits from showing sport but it’s a two way process because sports benefits too through: - Increased popularity. Many sports have greatly increased in popularity due to TV coverage . For example Cricket after England won the ashes, which was showed in its entirety on Sky. Can you think of your own example? - Increased revenue – through sponsorship. - Direct payments from television for the rights to broadcast events.
Conflicts between TV and Sport For the most part, the media brings benefits to sport, but there are some occasions when there are problems. Do you have any of your own ideas of possible disadvantages? - Directors can influence what is televised - Sometimes rules are changed to make the sport more appealing - Timings, for example kick offs can be dictated by TV companies - Use of replays can undermine officials - Particular sports don’t get as much if any ‘air time’ - If the match is shown on TV then why bother going to the game? - The media can intrude upon a performers privacy. However, despite these points the benefits of televised sport almost certainly outweigh the disadvantages.
Information Technology The widespread use of computers now allows far greater use of technology. CD ROMS can be used as either a source of information or as interactive programmes. 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. Radio 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. Alike TV there are specialist radio stations that concentrate on sport, for example Radio 5 Live. Its advantages over TV are the broadcasting costs are much lower, plus radios are portable, cheap and plentiful and listeners can tune in whilst driving or whilst on the move, so the potential audience is bigger.