This article first explicates the concept of sports enjoyment and then reviews the literature on the many facets of sports commentary regarding its general content and effects. An experimental study was designed to test whether complimentary or conflicting commentary, as well as game knowledge, and playing experience contributed to game enjoyment, perceived liking of the commentary, and perceived action in the game. Results partially supported the hypotheses. Specifically, commentary type had a significant impact on viewers’ liking of the commentary but had no impact on game enjoyment or perceived action in the game, game knowledge increased game enjoyment but had no impact on the other two dependent variables, and playing experience had a positive impact on perceived action in the game but had no impact on the other two variables. Implications are discussed.
Zhou is with the Dept. of Telecommunication and Film, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. Xu is with the Dept. of Communication, Villanova University, Villanova, PA. Ye is with the Dept. of Communication Studies, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI.