Break Point: A Case Study of How Globalization and Technology Led to New Tennis Media Gatekeepers in the United States

Daniel A Gruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article presents a case study of the developments in media gatekeeping in the last 10 years, focusing on the launch of the Tennis Channel and the ascendance of ESPN as the major network for professional tennis in the United States. The U.S. broadcast networks NBC and CBS have ceded the exclusive television rights for 2 of the Grand Slam tournaments (Wimbledon, U.S. Open) to ESPN for the first time in over 40 years. Meanwhile, the Tennis Channel, despite its independence from the media conglomerates, has carved out a niche for fans with its extensive global coverage of tournaments and for advertisers with its lucrative audience demographics. This change in dominance after the broadcast networks reigned for over 4 decades underscores the globalization of the sport and the abundance of early-round tournament matches available to fans. Organizational theories are used to analyze what has occurred and to predict what will happen next for tennis media gatekeeping in the United States.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-141
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Communication
Volume7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014

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