“It’s Fantasy Football Made Real”: Networked Media Sport, the Internet, and the Hybrid Reality of Myfootballclub

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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MyFootballClub (MFC) is a popular computer game, Web site, online networking experiment, business model, and an actual soccer club. This article uses MFC to address the question of how networked media sport is reshaping the media sports cultural complex (Rowe, 2004). Our aim is to show how the professionalization and mediatization of sport has created a longing to reconstruct a kind of communitas around supporter participation in the ownership and running of their team. We conclude by suggesting that it is now time to think less in terms of the longstanding relationship between sport and media, and more about sport as media given the increasing interpenetration of digital media content, sport, and networked information and communications technologies.

Hutchins and Ruddock are with the School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, Monash University, PO Box 197, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Caulfield Campus, VIC, Melbourne, 3145, Australia; Rowe is with the Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, New South Wales, 1797, Australia.

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