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Zachary W. Arth, Darrin J. Griffin, and Andrew C. Billings

This study examined Major League Baseball (MLB) broadcasters’ descriptions of players through the lens of self-categorization theory. Two core variables were assessed: nationality (American or non-American) and broadcast type (local or national). Broadcaster language in 30 games from the 2016 MLB season was analyzed. Two forms of examination revealed that American players were more frequently described as successful due to their intelligence, whereas non-American players were more likely to be depicted as failing due to an ascribed lack of strength and were discussed more in terms of emotionality. Local broadcasters were more likely to highlight differences between American and non-American players.

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James R. Angelini, Andrew C. Billings, and Paul J. MacArthur

A population of NBC’s primetime coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics (64 hours) was analyzed to determine differences between the media treatment of U.S. and non-U.S. Olympians. Results showed that U.S. athletes were highlighted at three to four times to rate their successes would suggest. In addition, American athletes were more likely to be depicted as succeeding because of their intellect, commitment, and consonance while non-American athletes were more likely to be depicted as failing because they lacked the strength and skill of other athletes. From a personality/physicality standpoint, American athletes received enhanced comments about their outgoing/extroverted nature while non-American athletes received more comments about the size and parts of their bodies. Ramifications for framing theory and Olympic nationalism research are articulated.

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Bryan E. Denham, Andrew C. Billings, and Kelby K. Halone

A consistent finding in studies surrounding sports commentary on white and black athletes is that (a) white athletes are frequently praised for their perceived “intellect” and “leadership capacity,” while (b) black athletes are often praised for being “naturally talented” (Davis & Harris, 1998). A mediated conclusion that one could derive from such findings is that black athletes are expected to succeed athletically; conversely, white athletes are expected to have an innate ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to accomplish their athletic stature. This study examined the broadcast commentary surrounding white and black athletes at the 2000 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four College Basketball Tournaments. The content analysis of 1,118 descriptors embedded in commentator discourse revealed that, while black athletes continue to be praised for their athleticism and physicality, they also are receiving a greater number of comments about their intelligence and ability to lead.

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Paul J. MacArthur, James R. Angelini, Andrew C. Billings, and Lauren R. Smith

An empirical analysis was conducted focusing on how the United States-based NBC and the Canada-based CBC portrayed male figure skaters in comparison with their male Winter Olympic counterparts on the networks’ primetime 2014 Olympic broadcasts. Using 100% of all primetime broadcast content as a universe of investigation, NBC’s and the CBC’s commentary about male figure skaters was compared with the aggregate of all other male Winter Olympians in the areas of success, failure and personality/physicality. Analysis of NBC’s primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games revealed five (5) significantly-different dialogue trends between male figure skaters and the aggregate of other male Winter Olympians, while analysis of the CBC’s primetime coverage revealed seven (7) significantly-different dialogue trends between male figure skaters and the aggregate of other male Winter Olympians. Differences were not consistent from network to network, showing that NBC and CBC treated male figure skaters differently, yet in significantly different manners by network. Insights are offered on the theoretical and applied levels.

Une analyse empirique a été conduite pour savoir comment la chaîne américaine NBC et la chaîne canadienne CBC présentaient les patineurs sur glace par rapport à leurs homologues masculins participant aux Jeux Olympiques d’Hiver lors de leurs prime times en 2014. En utilisant 100% du contenu des prime times diffusés comme terrain d’investigation, les commentaires de NBC et de CBC concernant les patineurs sur glace ont été comparés à ceux, agrégés, de tous les autres olympiens masculins dans le domaine de la réussite, de l’échec, de la personnalité et du physique. L’analyse de la couverture des Jeux Olympiques 2014 de Sotchi en prime time sur NBC a révélé cinq types de discours significativement différents entre les patineurs et l’ensemble des autres olympiens alors que l’analyse de la couverture en prime time du CBC en a révélé sept. Les différences ne sont pas similaires d’une chaîne à l’autre, ce qui montre que NBC et CBC ont traité les patineurs sur glace différemment. Des éclairages sont apportés aux niveaux théoriques et appliqués.

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Melvin Lewis, Kenon A. Brown, Samuel D. Hakim, Andrew C. Billings, and Carla H. Blakey

A national sample of 390 self-identified National Basketball Association (NBA) fans were asked motivational differences regarding use of four unique forms of social media information offerings: team-managed, media-managed, fan-managed and player-managed outlets. While entertainment emerged as the top motivational factor across all four offerings, many significant differences were found among the four information offerings in relation to 12 key uses and gratifications. Revealing which information offerings users tend to use when attempting to fulfill a specific gratification, this study yields insights for academicians and sport practitioners, pinpointing distinctive features of different social media platforms to frame social media goals, as well as matching the perceived strengths and features of a particular platform and information offering.

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Michael B. Devlin, Kenon A. Brown, Natalie Brown-Devlin, and Andrew C. Billings

Nationalistic notions are embedded within every part of the Olympic Games, inculcating feelings pertaining to one’s nation. Previous research examined the degree to which one is affected by portrayals of nationalism during international sporting events, finding that media consumption and results increase nationalistic feelings. However, such analyses rarely infused overarching fandom into the equation and failed to make global comparisons. This study surveyed 2,245 people from three continents in six different nations (Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the United States) to examine nationalistic attitudes during the 2018 Winter Olympics and subsequent effects. Significant differences between nationalized qualities manifested between each continent, as did their paths to becoming a fan and consuming content.

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Kenon A. Brown, Simon Ličen, Andrew C. Billings, and Michael B. Devlin

Given Slovenia’s independence in 1991, examining the potential impact of Olympic media consumption on this young nation offers a unique opportunity for scholarly investigation. Prior examinations of Olympic telecasts in Slovenia have uncovered core elements of nationalized pride and focus (Ličen & Billings, 2013a), yet have not fully explored the potential effect of the mass viewership found within the Olympics. This study explores how social cognitive and social identification theories interact to influence consumption behaviors relating to international competition—in this case, the Olympics. For this study, 175 respondents were surveyed to examine the relationship among personal determinants defined by one’s national identity, Olympic fan involvement, and behaviors related to Olympic media consumption. Findings revealed that basic identification with Slovenia as a nation, and a need to defend Slovenia when faced with discouraging opinions, influenced one’s fan involvement with the Olympics, which in turn influenced digital and televisual media consumption.