Football Without Football: Creativity in German Football Coverage by TV Broadcasters and Clubs During the Coronavirus Crisis

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • 2 University of Hamburg
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, TV broadcasters and clubs were challenged to provide alternative formats and content for fans of Germany’s favorite sport, football [soccer]. Thus, they emulated matchdays and created a Bundesliga feeling in new ways. The authors focus on this alternative creative sports coverage during the Coronavirus crisis and consider the effect on the audience. TV broadcasters, for instance, recreated Bundesliga matchdays through broadcasting historical matches, sticking with the original fixtures from before the crisis, while offering renewed commentary. Clubs conducted the Bundesliga Home Challenge, that is, FIFA20 videogame matches with their professional and eSport players, covering these matches on Twitter and their website. The authors argue that these efforts of keeping up the beloved structure of daily sports events satisfy social and entertaining belongings that are normally continually recreated through watching and talking about live sports events. Moreover, they discuss the possible sustainability of these innovative ways of sport communication.

Schallhorn is with the Inst. of Sport Science, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany. Kunert is with the Inst. for Journalism and Communication Studies, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Schallhorn (Christiana.schallhorn@uni-mainz.de) is corresponding author.
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