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Hypercommercialism, Televisuality, and the Changing Nature of College Sports Sponsorship

McAllister, Matthew P.
TheAmerican behavioral scientist 2010 v.53 no.10 pp. 1476-1491
marketing, sports, television, United States
This article updates previous research that critiqued the level and categories of commercial intrusion in national college football championship television broadcasts. Arguing that the “hypercommercialism” of television continues to increase due to a variety of contextual reasons and technological advances that enhance the distinctive “televisual” style of television, the article applies content and textual analyses of the 2007 BCS National Championship football broadcast on the U.S. television network Fox and compares these findings to a similar study conducted on the 1996 national championship broadcast. Results indicate a significant decrease in “advertising-free” broadcast time, mainly resulting from an increase in the use of on-screen graphics with commercial iconography. In addition, the broadcast is characterized by the integrated marketing techniques that blur distinctions between content categories. The essay concludes with a discussion of the implications of hypercommercialism of sports and broadcasting for the vibrancy of the public sphere.