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Contemporary media sports culture is dominated by the West, and media sport studies has tended to focus on Western contexts. The Asia Pacific region is now a more significant feature of the global media sports cultural complex, however, through the increasingly lucrative export of Western sport television rights and merchandising, the staging of megamedia sports events in the region, the conspicuous role of sport stars from the Asia Pacific in Western sport competitions, and, in some cases, even a shift in the balance of institutional and economic power from West to East. Drawing mainly on the cases of association football (soccer), cricket, and basketball, this article identifies the complex and multidirectional flows of labor, capital, images, identities, and audiences into, from, and within the Asian media sports environment. It considers whether such developments might constitute de-, re-, or even post-Westernization and proposes the necessity of closer attention to these issues in critical media sport studies.
The authors are with the Centre for Cultural Research (CCR), University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.