This book offers an introductory guide to sports TV, its history in the United States, the genre’s defining characteristics, and analysis of its critical significance for the business practices, formal properties, and social, cultural, and political meanings of the medium.

Victoria E. Johnson discusses a range of examples, from textual analysis of programs such as Monday Night Football and Being Serena to examination of television rights details, to sports TV’s technological innovations and engagement of critical political debates. Johnson examines sports TV from its introduction to the ESPN+ era. She proposes that sports, as seen on TV in all of its iterations, is the central cultural forum for working through questions of community ideals, struggles over national and regional mythologies, and questions of representative citizenship.

This book is an ideal guide for students and scholars of television, media, and cultural studies as well as those with an interest in television genre, sports TV history, and contemporary sport and media culture.

chapter |28 pages


chapter 1|26 pages

"Not a Traditional Business"

Sports TV as For-Profit Public Good?

chapter 2|29 pages


The Texts and Tech of Sports TV

chapter 3|32 pages

Generation IX

Sports TV, Gender, and Voice

chapter 4|25 pages

The Level Playing Field?

Sports TV and Cultural Debate

chapter 5|28 pages

The Sports Media Ecosystem

Sports TV's Out-of-Home Communities