For almost twenty years, sports broadcasts have become an essential part of the fight for audiences and one of the most demanded premium content by televisions around the world, especially since the 1990s -coinciding with liberalization of television – entered into a strong bid among themselves to gain control of the retransmission rights. Thus, the obvious axiom that the vast majority of television models must have sport as an essential component of their programming was fulfilled.
With the emergence of large content distribution platforms, which exploit the broadcast of sports on high-capacity networks, and with the entry of large Internet companies into the competition for sports broadcasts, the creation of pay channels has proliferated , supported by very different broadcasting modalities (cable, satellite or Internet) but with a common link: the great technological developments in television production -fundamentally HD and 3D- and a greater television ‘spectacularization’ that has already become a global phenomenon .
Insufficient lines of research
It is no coincidence, therefore, that in many European countries -such as France, the United Kingdom or the Nordic countries- there is a fertile research tradition that regularly investigates these phenomena from a multidisciplinary perspective, which can range from sports sociology or economics to development of events and sponsorships in the sports world or the technological developments of the main sports broadcasts that are broadcast live.
Spain, unlike the countries mentioned and other European countries such as Italy, Belgium or Germany, suffers from a serious lack of professionals and academics who regularly reflect on these aspects. In the same way, the university teachings in the Degree of Communication and the development of postgraduate studies barely address facets different from conventional sports journalism or the legal-labor aspects of sport.
Hence, the recent publication of Realization of sports on television , written by Anto J. Benítez, professor of Audiovisual Communication at Carlos III University and former sports producer on Telemadrid for more than fifteen years, fills an important gap in these studies and claim, at the same time, a space for televised sport and for research on sports content within communication studies.
Technological Developments Linked To Sport
Many of the advances in current television could not be understood without the strength that events such as the celebration of the Olympic Games, the sophisticated productions of the Champions League, the Premier League or the Professional Football League in Spain have acquired. Sports information, both in its facet of journalistic dissemination and in the management of content or the retransmission of highlights and major live events, allows us to understand the symbiosis between sport and the media, as well as the strong impetus that its broadcasting has given the development of technology.
Professor Benítez’s volume on sports on television
From major events to minority sports- is structured in three parts: the first four chapters describe the television, sports, business and technological environments. The following four chapters deal with production and production plans, editing processes and live broadcasts, with a reflection on the figures of producers and directors. And finally, some case studies are addressed that allow us to understand the staging of different sports modalities, from cycling to swimming or American football.
The book -as its author underlines
Does not pretend to be a complementary text to books or manuals for the realization or production of audiovisual programs, nor even replace the style books of the different sports competitions. It is rather a deep reflection that stems from extensive professional practice in television, but also from an extensive academic reflection as a university professor.
In this sense, it can be considered as a kind of ‘founding book’ on the production of sports on television, with special attention to the technological developments of direct, multi-camera production work, the relationship between director and viewer or the most outstanding principles of television planning. And, of course, an ideal and essential material for all those students, sports professionals or scholars who wish to gain in-depth knowledge of the business environment, staging or technological advances in live sports broadcasts. Aspects all of them very fruitful and that go beyond a mere study on television and sport from the perspective of the producer and director of 무료스포츠중계, as its author modestly wants to define us.