Sports Viewing: A Theoretical Approach

in International Journal of Sport Communication

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Kirsten FrandsenUniversity of Aarhus, Denmark

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The article presents a theoretical discussion of the entertainment value inherent to viewing televised sports. By combining different theories that consider sports events and television as essentially presentational symbolic forms, sports as a game phenomenon, and sports events as rituals, one obtains a more elaborate understanding of the potential attractions related to watching sports. The author argues that because of the very nature of sports, it becomes crucial to give prominence to a conception of the audience as active and meaning producing. In order to understand and acquire knowledge about both these meaning-producing processes, and the more general significance of televised sports, a comprehensive, rather than a purely individual, approach is required. Knowledge sharing and discussion of the implications of the acts on the field are, among various social groups, as important as the viewing experience itself.

The author is with the Institute of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus, Århus N, Denmark, imvkf@hum.au.dk

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