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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sports and the Media: Do they need each other?

Sports and the media have had a long, mutually benefiting, relationship that continues to this day. Long ago, beginning with newspapers, media coverage informed readers of the latest scores and significant events in sports. Then there was the radio coverage, where listeners could follow the games and scores. Television was next in line, with pre-recorded and live coverage of all types of sporting events and related significant, sporting topics. Cable, satellite, digital and high definition television packages brought sports to the fans in a variety of general and paid programs. And with the latest technological advances, there are a variety of online and digital platforms that bring any and all sports, directly to the fans fingertips, on demand. People can now access any sports information, games, and scores on their personal computers, laptops, smart phones, tablets and even watches, at any time. With the surge of social media platforms in the last ten years, the options for a fan to get access to sports are more than plentiful (Coakley, 2015).

Many people argue over who needs who more. It is a very debatable topic and not one that really merits much effort because the two industries will likely always be interlinked. They benefit each other in a variety of ways. If they completely separated, both would survive at a cost. While there are so many types of media platforms available now, it is unlikely that there ever would or could be a complete separation between the two. Some forms of modern media are considered better than others for the sports industry, just as some sports coverage is better than others for the media. Negative media is a reality and that can have an adverse effect on a sports organization or individual. As with any topic, there are many areas of controversy between various media and sports organizations. Overall, as industries, these controversies are considered minor, when one takes their annual profits into account (Cuban, 2011).

The profitable relationship between sports and the media is one that neither industry would want to see go away. Sports are a huge part of society and culture. The sports industry provides entertainment for millions of fans around the globe. The media is a multifaceted platform that provides easy access to sports, games and news. There are a variety of spin off programs that focus on the athletes and the behind the scenes activities that fans enjoy. The media takes sports to a much higher level than just the game and the score. Both industries benefit from each other in many different ways. There are few other industries that have a co-dependence on each other that provides such a mutual benefit (Chiu and Wang, 2008).

The media is an extremely powerful and influential platform for just about any topic. The sports industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with considerable power and influence. These two entities do depend on each other for a variety of reasons, which benefit both parties. The sports industry uses the media for game coverage, and a variety of related coverage on athletes, rivalries, teams, organizations, management, and more. The media uses sports coverage to provide a multitude of programs and games, which is very profitable content and keeps ratings high. Then, there are the commercials, advertising and sponsoring, that generates billions of dollars annually, for both the media and sports industries. As two of the most profitable industries in the world today, their mutual linkage ensures that both industries will continue to grow and prosper into the foreseeable future (Lamendola, 2011).


Coakley, J. (2015). Sports in society: Issues and controversies (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Lamendola, A. (2011). Sports and Media: Do they need each other? American Sport in the 21st Century Scrapbook. Retrieved from

Cuban, M. (2011). What’s the role of media for sports teams? Blog Maverick. Retrieved from

Chiu, P., and Wang, C. (2008). Impact of Media Coverage of the 42nd World Archery Championships on Audience Attendance and Purchases. The Sport Journal. Retrieved from
Eric Dempsey
MS, ISSA Master Trainer
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