Media & Communication

Justin Deutsch
Play Ball!
The Experience of Watching Sports on Television

One of America's favorite pastimes is to watch sports on television. Since the first-ever televised sporting event, a baseball game between the Princeton Tigers and the Columbia Lions way back in 1939, sports on television has developed into a huge industry in the United States. This paper provides a review of literature by historians who have evaluated sports on television, and more specifically, historians who have measured the behaviors, attitudes, and emotions of men and women when watching televised sports. By analyzing these behaviors, one can gain a better understanding of the different levels of attachment that men and women have to televised sports, and how the responses of both genders relate to societal expectations about how both men and women should behave. The paper predicts that as sports become more open to women, and more sports leagues are generated, the wide differences in behaviors of men and women when watching televised sports will be reduced.