Television Sport Journalism at the UEFA Euro 2016 Championships: A Comparison of Live Commentary From Four Countries

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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Football’s (soccer’s) EURO 2016 in France marked a high point for sport journalism and broadcasting. Due to the implementation of a uniform multilateral image feed by the European Football Association (UEFA), differences in the verbal live commentary became significant. This study investigated commentary of the live television broadcasts of 4 matches in a specific country. Using social identity and self-categorization, a mixed-methods analysis was employed to quantitatively analyze the commentary and qualitatively assess content for notions of nationalism, patriotism, or globalization. Instead of notions of ideological nationalism, coverage emphasized sporting action and Europeanization of the event. Excluding forms of “banal nationalism” like introducing the teams and playing national anthems, live commentary presented fair or positive patriotism, together with remarks of transnational friendship and comradeship of the players. Based on the increasing frequency of sport organizations using similar image feeds in the future, a decreasing relevance for live commentary by national broadcasters is discussed.

Horky, Baranovskaa, and Stelzner are with the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany. Grimmer is with the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. Jakubowska is with Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland.

Horky (t.horky@macromedia.de) is corresponding author.
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