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Influences of Mass Media in Sport

When communication is spread not just between two

individuals but rather between tens of millions of

people it is known as mass media. Mass media is known

as the central nervous system of society and it

functions as a medium of exchange of information

across the globe. Mass media has many different

purposes, such as providing information, entertaining,

persuading and also by carrying a vague general

function of culture to millions of people. In order

for mass media to exist, there must be an audience.

Today's society is very selective; each receiver

reacts differently through his or her own experience

and orientation. Therefore, mass media exists in many

different forms such as magazines, television,

newspapers, internet, motion pictures, and even plays.

Some examples of these forms of mass media are

cosmopolitan magazine for young modern women and TSN

television network for sports fans. With such extreme

varieties of mass media existing in today's societies

there are three major constraints that seem to have an

impressionable impact. These constraints can keep

mass media very restricted. The major constraint of

mass media is competition. Each form of mass media

wants to be the one to target the audience, so

therefore competition between mass media is very

strong. With the constant growth of mass media,

opportunities for individuals have been rising. Mass

media has opened many doors for many individuals, in

the world of sports; both the positive and negative

effects of the mass media.

Basketball was invented as a recreational sport, but

now considered a universal sport. The introduction of

this sport to the rest of the world started in the

late nineteenth century as a form of recreation.

Universities began incorporating this new recreational

game into their sporting activities and were

considered a male oriented sport. Women were not

recognized at the time as basketball players even if

they had an interest in the sport. Throughout the

years basketball was transformed from a recreational

sport into competitive sport and the players competed

for a prize which in its early existence was a trophy

or medal. The media in all forms such astelevision,

radio, Internet and newspapers never took an interest

in the sport until the end of world war two. At the

time people's interest in the sport was growing

rapidly mainly because of the transformation of the

sport from a recreational sport to a competitive

sport. Universities and private businessmen who

spotted the potential success of the sport invested

theircapital in building stadiums for athletes of the

sport to compete. In the early 1950's professional

leagues were starting to develop across the United

States; as more private business men realized profits

in relative terms meaning essentially the profits made

were considered great in that time period. At the time

the main form of media in households across the United

States was the radio and newspaper few households had

televisions and live coverage of games were seen by a


The rules and the format of the game had to be

changed to make the game more interesting to fans of

the sport and many sports historians contribute

basketball transformation over the years to the media

involvement. Media coverage of sporting events such as

basketball grew dramatically as more and more

households had both radios and televisions. In fact

the television a medium contributed the most to the

transformation of basketball. The media has given the

sport exposure to a much larger audience than just the

people in attendance at the games. This means people

who like to watch the sport but can't afford to go to

the games live, can watch it in their home or listen

or read the results of the game in newspapers, or on

the Internet which is also an extension of the media.

The media has shaped the public's opinion on

basketball and through the media people seem to have a

more profound interest in the sport of basketball.




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