Winning Isn’t Everything: The Effect of Nationalism Bias on Enjoyment of a Mediated Sporting Event

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Lauren Reichart Smith Auburn University, USA

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Disposition theory research within mediated sporting events has traditionally looked at the relationship between enjoyment and outcome. A gap currently exists in the theory concerning the effect of the different elements of the mediated content. The purpose of this study was to examine one such element of mediated content. This study used a 2 × 2 × 2 between subjects and an experimental design to test the effects of commentary from a United States broadcast on enjoyment. Within the experiment, commentary and outcome were manipulated for two teams of different nationalities. Results showed commentary did have an effect on enjoyment; however, commentary was a stronger predictor of enjoyment than was outcome. In addition, it was found that nationality alone did not have an effect on enjoyment, but commentary and nationality combined did have such an effect. Findings from this study have implications for disposition theory and future research on factors affecting enjoyment.

The author is with the Dept. of Communication and Journalism, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

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