The primacy of sports television: Olympic media, social networking services, and multi-screen viewing during the Rio 2016 games

Brett Hutchins, Jimmy Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The Olympic Games are a global sports mega-event where the aggregation of mass audiences is still observable at a time when multiplying forms of personalized connective media – digital, mobile and social – are making inroads into media consumption habits. Using the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a case study, this article examines the intersections between (1) broadcast television coverage of the Games, (2) digital live streaming of Olympic events via desktop computing and mobile apps, and (3) the social networking services, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. It is argued that broadcast television anchors the flow of content across screens, with social networking services both extending the televisual logics of media sports coverage and emphasizing their own commercial influence and command of massive user numbers. This arrangement ultimately bolsters the power of television as the primary means through which sports mega-events are experienced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • connected viewing
  • media events
  • media sports
  • mobile media
  • Snapchat
  • social media
  • sports media

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