Sports TV  book cover
1st Edition

Sports TV

ISBN 9780415722940
Published March 25, 2021 by Routledge
208 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book offers an introductory guide to sports TV, its history in the United States, the genre’s defining characteristics, and analysis of its critical significance for the business practices, formal properties, and social, cultural, and political meanings of the medium.

Victoria E. Johnson discusses a range of examples, from textual analysis of programs such as Monday Night Football and Being Serena to examination of television rights details, to sports TV’s technological innovations and engagement of critical political debates. Johnson examines sports TV from its introduction to the ESPN+ era. She proposes that sports, as seen on TV in all of its iterations, is the central cultural forum for working through questions of community ideals, struggles over national and regional mythologies, and questions of representative citizenship.

This book is an ideal guide for students and scholars of television, media, and cultural studies as well as those with an interest in television genre, sports TV history, and contemporary sport and media culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. "Not A Traditional Business": Sports TV as For-Profit Public Good? 2. Sportvision: The Texts and Tech of Sports TV 3. Generation IX: Sports TV, Gender and Voice 4. The Level Playing Field? Sports TV and Cultural Debate 5. The Sports Media Ecosystem: Sports TV’s Out-of-Home Communities

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Victoria E. Johnson is Professor of Film and Media Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her Heartland TV: Prime Time Television and the Struggle for U.S. Identity (2008) was awarded the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award in 2009. She writes about the cultural history of US television by examining its popular geographic mythologies, representations of race and place, and sports media.


"Victoria E. Johnson’s stellar Sports TV offers the best available scholarly introduction to its topic. Just as important, this book persuasively argues for the centrality of sports television to any serious consideration of popular media culture."

Travis Vogan, University of Iowa, USA

"Johnson has written the definitive critical history of sports as one of television’s most enduring and important genres. Sports TV is an elegant and masterfully comprehensive analysis of sports as our televisual public forum. This book is a slam dunk/touchdown/home run work of media scholarship."

Jennifer Holt, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA