In most countries, live broadcasts of sports events generate enormous numbers of viewers and reach impressive market shares. In this article, the author examines the structures of major football (soccer) broadcasts on German television and makes conclusions on the quality of sports journalism. A longitudinal analysis is made of the broadcasts of the last 9 German matches in World and European Cup championships of the past 16 years on German television. A closer look at different parts reveals an increasing loss of meaning for live coverage, as well as rising preliminary and postreporting within the broadcasts. A finer cross-section examination of the football finals in 2006 and 2010 shows a lack of journalistic programming in the live broadcasts, with an increasing loss of meaning for sports journalism
The author is with the Dept. of Sports Journalism, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany.