Televised Sports and Marital Relationships

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Indiana University
  • 2 University of San Francisco
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This paper describes the role of televised sports in married life. It documents how adults integrate televised sports into their relationship with their spouse and evaluate its impact on that relationship. Telephone interviews were conducted with 399 married adults residing in San Francisco and Indianapolis. Respondents were asked about their own TV sports viewing behaviors as well as those of their spouse. Televised sports appears to play a generally positive albeit small role in marital life. TV sports viewing often is a shared activity and does not appear to trigger many scheduling or TV viewing conflicts. And, when such conflicts occur, they appear to be resolved amicably and easily. It may be that accommodations for differing interests in TV sports are resolved early in a marital relationship, along with other accommodations that marriage often dictates.

Walter Gantz is with the Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University, 515 N. Park Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405. Lawrence A. Wenner is with the Department of Communication and the Sports and Fitness Management Program, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94117. Christina Carrico and Matthew Knorr were students in the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University at the time of the study.

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