How Sports Entertain: Enjoyable and Meaningful Experiences for Sports Audiences
Butler University, USA
© Media Watch 9 (3) 372-382, 2018
This study explores how sports media entertains audiences. A survey found that sports media provides both enjoyable experiences and meaningful experiences for audiences. In doing so, this study illuminates how and why sports media entertains audiences. Watching sports can be understood as a hedonic media experience that is fun and pleasurable, but this study shows that sports media consumption can also be a deeper, meaningful experience that gives insight into the human condition. This shows that even for an audience member who is not enjoying an event, they still might be deriving meaning from the event. Further, this study examines how sports media might generate these experiences as the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, the dimensions of self-determination theory and affective state of audience members, are explored. The dimensions of self-determination theory were instrumental in predicting audience enjoyment while affect was instrumental in predicting meaningful experiences for audiences. Overall, this study provides information relevant in understanding how and why people consume sports media – which should be of interest to practitioners and scholars alike.