Sport for the slothful? : a study of televised football in Britain
The thesis examines the relationship between football and television in Britain. It explores the historical and contemporary transformations television has brought to professional football as a popular cultural form, in terms of the way in which the sport is organised and spectated. Similarly, there is also an investigation of the place football has in the history and development of British broadcasting in its form and content, from radio to television. There is also a concern for the relationships between the political economy of televised football, broadcasting technology, the codes and conventions of production, the mode of address, and the reception of these audio-visual media. In particular, the importance of negotiations for television rights, the construction and manipulation of sound and image by television technologies and how these processes relate to the consumption of football are considered. The research emphasises the importance of empirical study of sports and media industries and, therefore, is based upon historical archives, interviews with key individuals, textual analysis and participant observation. Several case studies are used to illustrate the thesis, including a history of broadcasting the World Cup, the televising and marketing of the 1994 World Cup in the USA, the television coverage of football in Scotland (specifically the 1996 European Championships), and the viewing of televised football by men in public domains. The thesis takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the relationship between football and television and argues that an understanding of the processes of production and consumption of televised football are complex and contradictory. The study examines and adds to theoretical debates about sport and television in society, focusing on the concepts of the sports-media complex, globalisation, masculine and national identities, and audience reception.