Rebooting Content: Broadcasting Sport and Esports to Homes During COVID-19

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 University of San Francisco
  • 2 University of Pretoria
  • 3 St. John’s University
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Beginning in early March 2020, sport in the United States entered an unprecedented period of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The postponement, suspension, and cancellation of live sporting events impacted every professional and amateur sport organization, from the National Basketball Association to the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, high school sports to college football, and even esports leagues. Although the abrupt cancellation of live sporting events was disruptive, it did create opportunities for the production of new media and consumption opportunities for sport leagues, teams, and their fans through different types of sport media broadcasts. This commentary examines how the U.S. sport industry developed media content strategies using new, mixed, and rebroadcasted content, across multiple broadcast and streaming platforms, to provide sport consumption opportunities to fans who were largely quarantined at home. This research contributes to the existing scholarship on live and rebroadcasted mediated content, while providing guidance to content owners and rights holders facing uncertainty in the marketplace.

Goldman is with the Sport Management Program, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA, and the Gordon Inst. of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa. Hedlund is with the Div. of Sport Management, Collins College of Professional Studies, St. John’s University, Queens, NY, USA.

Goldman (mmgoldman@usfca.edu) is corresponding author.
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