When it comes to sports, Are Indian media and the World on the same page?
Watching a game from the remotest corner of the world is no more a surprise but media and sports or as we say production and marketing department has become complementary in past 20-25 years. In many ways, both today’s sport and the media are classic outcomes and, indeed, icons of the far-reaching social, economic and technological change that characterized the twentieth century.
Each has developed extensively and rapidly as a major global industry. Each plays a significant part in structuring and informing people’s lives. Each has a global as well as more local scope of operation and has the structures and practices to reflect this.
Importantly, they are two industries tied together in complex networks of relationships. Their respective histories of development have been fuelled and influenced by the dynamics of this partnership. The evidence of the partnership is all too apparent. The wellbeing of particular sports or, indeed, sport as a whole has become linked to income generated directly or indirectly from the media.
The way in which sport fills newspaper pages and television and radio schedules bear testimony to the influence it has on the structure and extent of media activity.
Over the years how this driving force has globally marketed sports. Let’s have a quick eye upon some of its impacts
How media affects sports
1) Some sports have had to change to be more amenable to media coverage
2) Television influence participation rates in certain sports
(when channel 4 showed volleyball between 1980 and 84, affiliation rose by 70%. When table tennis was no longer covered, participation dropped by a third)
3) Participation in sport is falling and this is partly attributed to too much watching of sport. However, studies like The Wolfenden Report suggest watching sport on TV may actually positively influence people to take up a sport.
3) When British teams do well in a sport at the Olympics there is often an increase in grassroots participation.
4) Spectatorism is on the decline because it is more comfortable to watch the game from home.
5) This is why football clubs charge large fees to TV companies wanting to televise the match.
Positive Effects of media on sports
The media coverage of sport has good effects:
Money-Media companies pay for the rights to show a sporting event. Also, sports shown on the tv generate more sponsorship.
Education – People learn the rules of the sport from watching it on TV.
Role models – Seeing good sports people on TV and in newspapers makes them a role model for people to look up to.
Inspiration – Media brings sports to people who may not normally get to experience it otherwise.
This can encourage people to get involved.
But when it comes to Indian media all these are squeezed upon one sport upon which Indian media has showered all its love upon.
Literally defining sports means that:
Sport: competitive games that are won or lost on the basis of physical skills and played according to specific rules.
Well, these dictionary meaning has no relevance for Indian media, pragmatically it has a dictionary of its own. We often cry and hue when Indian cricket team or to be “specific” Indian men’s cricket team lose a match while someone on the different court picks up a gold medal.
The struggle of a true sportsperson is quietly ignored and he is being silenced just because his story or the sport is not marketable to the media. While on the other hand, the families of cricketers are more popular than genuine sports personalities in our country. True notice of the achievements is only made when a player is in finals.
surprisingly same media is being flooded with the stories of the same sportsperson. “Cricket is our religion” this phrase is often used by cricket lovers and to make it true Indian media has put a lot of effort on that. Record-breaking TRP’s and acceptance of the greatness of a particular sport placed cricket on the pinnacle of Indian sports.
Well, the time has come where Indian needs to accept sports as a religion rather than worshipping a particular sport.
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