Although a variety of tools are employed to package sport for at-home consumption, instant replay is among the most ubiquitous. Excitation transfer theory has been a useful lens for explaining how emotion compounds during sport consumption, but research has failed to explore how instant replay can serve to facilitate the transfer of arousal between sequential events in televised sport. This experiment invokes excitation transfer to examine how both the nature of content and instant replay can facilitate sustained arousal and enhanced evaluations of events in the context of college football. Results suggest the superiority of game content to facilitate excitation transfer, both in terms of objective measures of emotion and self-reported enjoyment. The production feature examined here, instant replay, yielded mixed results. Although it failed to consistently impact objective physiological measures of emotion, it did elicit enhanced enjoyment when the content being represented was intrinsically exciting.
Cummins is with the College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX. Berke is with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.