Media Influence On Football

Words: 1531
Pages: 7

The aspect of American society that will be the focus of this paper will be media and its relation to the development of football. I will focus on four time periods in American football: 1890s, 1920s, 1950s, and 1980s and demonstrate how media has developed from one time period to the next. Over time, media has advanced beginning from print newspapers to radio and newsreels to television to cable television and finally the Internet. Borish (2009) describes a “rapidly changing nexus between sports and information technology.” Football and media share a symbiotic relationship; they each were created separately but developed together. Media was utilized in other sports yet didn’t have the same impact as it did on football.
Media has played a
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In the 1920s “revenues for sixty five leading football schools increased, fifty five new stadiums were built, and the space allocated to college sports on urban newspapers more than tripled” (McChesney 1989). During World War II, an important innovation in media emerged: radio broadcasting. Radio broadcasting and movie newsreels were utilized in covering sport and allowing Americans to keep up with current events. With daily newspapers, journalists wrote about sporting events as they took place, but it wouldn’t be published until the next day. Radio allowed for listeners to experience sport events in real time and allow fans who are unable to attend games the ability to enjoy games from their home. “In 1922, radio was found in 1 in 400 homes, but by 1929 fully one-third of American homes had radios” (McChesney 1989). Oriard (2004) states that “newsreels brought images of football games into movie theatres” (p. 11) which many people frequented. According to Oriard (2004), “attendance at college football games peaked in the late 1920s, dropped in the early years of the Depression” (p. 8) These trends are indicative of the festival culture in Medieval Europe in which people sought an escape from everyday problems and used sporting events, such as football games or attending the theatre, as a distraction. …show more content…
Special effects, color, and closed captioning are all cable television innovations that resulted from sport; all of which enhance the spectator experience.The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) was launched in 1979 on cable television producing several shows dedicated to televising games, commentators, and athletes. In modern day, ESPN is available via Internet and mobile applications. Sport media is constantly becoming more accessible as time progresses. Team owners acknowledged the positive impact that television had on football. Football team owners opted to share the cost of games being broadcast on television whereas baseball team owners paid individually for television broadcasting cost. “Congress allowed the NFL to share its TV revenue by passing the Sports Broadcasting Act in 1961. Towards gaining approval, the NFL agreed not to play games on Friday or Saturday to protect high schools and colleges” (Friedman 2014). The Sports Broadcasting Act remains in effect today, professional football has their games on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays so that there isn't competition in ticket sales. The Super Bowl and the “NFL championship game [are] some the highest rated television program[s] of each year” (Friedman 2014). The high volume of viewers during