Soccer, Broadcasting, and Narrative: On Televising a Live Soccer Match

Andrew Barnfield*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Soccer broadcasts have been explored in a number of interesting ways, uncovering racial difference, gendered stereotypes, domestic viewing experiences, nationalistic discourse, and national styles of production. What is lacking, however, is how the viewer comprehends space and time in the live broadcast. Such literatures neglect the hybrid nature of televised soccer as a combination of visual and verbal communication. Understanding and experiencing a televised soccer match is a formulation of visual principles and verbal understanding of temporality within the narrative of a live broadcast. These principles are materialized through the screen and develop an unconscious understanding of movement, spatiality, and temporality differing from a cinematic unconscious through the cutting and sequencing of footage and border moments—screen wipe, frames, cuts—which work in combination with commentary to establish a microgeography of the screen. Viewers of televised soccer, therefore, establish a comprehension of time and space which is distinctive and differs from reportage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-341
Number of pages16
JournalCommunication and Sport
Issue number4
Early online date26 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

Acceptance date is provisional and based on date of publication.

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for Urban and Public Policy Research


  • broadcasting
  • narrative
  • soccer
  • television
  • temporality


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