• Reflections on communication and sport: on mediatization and cultural analysis

      Whannel, Garry (Sage Journals, 2013)
      In this essay, Garry Whannel reflects on why research on media and sport has often been disdained by traditional academia and liberal intelligentsia. The first section argues that mediated sports are an important constituent part of popular culture, making its discourses worthy of scholarly study. The second section considers how early studies of mediated sport set in the tradition of British cultural studies opened the door to a inquiry that has grown in importance in both critical sport and media studies. The central section focuses on the complexities of “sport analysis, snobbery, and anti-intellectualism.” Considered here is the early and continued resistance to the study of media and sport and its derogatory stigmatization as a “Mickey Mouse” subject even in the face of excellent scholarship that has developed around the cultural and political analysis of sport. The article closes with suggestions for future work and ways to change narrative constructions of the field.
    • Television and the transformation of sport

      Whannel, Garry (Sage Journals, 2009)
      Sport played a significant part in the growth of television, especially during its emergence as a dominant global medium between 1960 and 1980. In turn, television, together with commercial sponsorship, transformed sport, bringing it significant new income and prompting changes in rules, presentation, and cultural form. Increasingly, from the 1970s, it was not the regular weekly sport that commanded the largest audiences but, rather, the occasional major events, such as the Olympic Games and football’s World Cup. In the past two decades, deregulation and digitalization have expanded the number of channels, but this fragmentation, combined with the growth of the Internet, has meant that the era in which shared domestic leisure was dominated by viewing of the major channels is closing. Yet, sport provides an exception, an instance when around the world millions share a live and unpredictable viewing experience.