Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) bowl games represent a final opportunity for teams to showcase themselves in front of a national television audience. Capital One Bowl Mania, as branded by the broadcast network ESPN, is a signature event of college football, and the College Football Playoff national championship marks the end of the FBS season. During the 2019–2020 FBS postseason, ESPN owned the broadcast rights to 36 of the 41 FBS bowl games. Controlling nearly 90% of FBS bowl games, ESPN controls the representation of almost every broadcast bowl game. Informed by extant research on the now defunct Bowl Championship Series, this study looks for evidence of a hypercommercial media logic in the institutional field of FBS bowl games. Using a mixed-method approach, this paper investigates the reproduction of a sample of 18 FBS bowl game broadcasts and considers the extent to which the increased use of in-game graphics in broadcast production structures and practices reflects an hypercommercial media logic.
Chris Corr, Crystal Southall, and Richard M. Southall
Chris Corr, Richard M. Southall, Crystal Southall, and Richard J. Hart
Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football games are presented in a hypercommercialized manner by television broadcast networks through the targeted use of in-game graphics and corporatized content. While commercialized FBS football broadcast components have been analyzed within the frameworks of a hypercommercialized National Collegiate Athletic Association and media institutional logics, an analysis of commentator language has yet to be examined within the larger institutional field of FBS football broadcasts. Utilizing agenda setting and media framing as frameworks, this case study examined the manner in which commentators frame FBS football players as professionals in a hypercommercialized institutional setting. From a sample of 18 FBS bowl games during the 2019–20 season, discourse and thematic analysis reveal that commentators frame FBS football players in the context of their future professional opportunities (i.e., National Football League). The framing of FBS football players as professionals aligns with extant literature examining the broader institutional field of broadcast media and logics pervasive in the National Collegiate Athletic Association as an organization. The commodification of FBS football players as integral components to strategic programmatic content promoting future broadcast programming is discussed.
Richard M. Southall, Mark S. Nagel, John M. Amis, and Crystal Southall
As the United States’ largest intercollegiate athletic event, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men’s basketball tournament consistently generates high television ratings and attracts higher levels of advertising spending than the Super Bowl or the World Series. Given the limited analysis of the organizational conditions that frame these broadcasts’ production, this study examines the impact of influential actors on the representation process. Using a mixed-method approach, this paper investigates production conditions and processes involved in producing a sample (n = 31) of NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament broadcasts, examines the extent to which these broadcasts are consistent with the NCAA’s educational mission, and considers the dominant institutional logic that underpins their reproduction. In so doing, this analysis provides a critical examination of the 2006 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament broadcasts, and how such broadcasts constitute, and are constituted by, choices in television production structures and practices.