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Sports Broadcast Analysis of NBA Game: Use of the Televised Sports Manhood Formula in Sports Broadcasting

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For a professional sport broadcast I chose to cover a National Basketball Association (NBA) game of the New Jersey Nets playing in Philadelphia against the Philadelphia 76ers. The game was broadcast on the Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES) network. This game featured the two teams with the lowest win percentage in their division of the NBA. This broadcast shows that the most popular professional sports still do exemplify the televised sports manhood formula introduced by Michael Messner in his book Taking the Field: Women, Men, and Sports. The main themes Messner gives as his televised sports manhood formula are: white males are the voice of authority, sport is a man's world, men are foregrounded in commercials, women are sexy props or prizes for successful sports performances or consumption choices, whites are foregrounded in commercials, aggressive players get the prize, boys will be violent boys, give up your body for the team, and sports are war. I will demonstrate that each of these topics is covered by the broadcast of the basketball game. The overall message conveyed by the production of this game on television is that the typical people who should like basketball and watch it are successful white men. I will show that in the two and a half hour broadcast of the Nets vs. 76ers game the televised sports manhood formula is still used.
When I first turned to the game I noticed that the pregame show was hosted by a white female behind an anchor desk. She was by herself and covered the main headlines of the news around the basketball league. She also did the halftime and post-game show by herself. This goes against the theme that white males are the voice of authority, but during the game the two commentators were both wh...


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...upportive role like in the commercials. Though having a female anchor in the pregame, halftime, and postgame show is a change she is the only female that is a part of the whole broadcast.
My analysis of the Nets versus 76ers game confirms that there is still a televised sports manhood formula being used by the center of sport. This formula shows that sports broadcasts produce the same themes of white male authority over minorities and women using all the aspects of the broadcast including commentary, commercials, and on the court. There is white male hegemony in sports that cannot be easily removed. To change the hegemony of sports would involve a large cultural shift in how society looks as sports. As more diverse people join sports leagues in the future a shift can emerge where sport is not dominated by a single group but shared among men, women, and minorities.


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