Life and death? No, Much more Important than that

How Sport turned into Big Business and a Global Obsession

Matthew Engel – Journalist and Sports Writer and 2011 News International Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media – gives the first of the 2011 series on Broadcast media, entitled; Please Mister, can we have our ball back? Sport, the media, and the people.

This is the first lecture of the series – “Life and death? No, Much more Important than that; How Sport turned into Big Business and a Global Obsession”. In talking about his professional life, Professor Engel notes that sport did not occupy the central place in society until 1990s, yet there is now more sports coverage in the Guardian than for home and foreign news put together. Sport has become a global money making machine for players, sport media companies and sport sponsors.

This is a vital change of the media and society as a whole. Professor Engel also points out that, ironically, the general fitness level of the population is now worse than never. Towards the end of this talk, Professor Engel raises two important questions: What role did the media (newspapers, TV, radio, internet) play in creating the complex money driven sport business today and where does the media fit into the power structure that governs this business – where does the power lie? Who make the ultimate decisions?

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