Space – What is around you. Place – Where you are. Audience – Who is viewing.
These three key themes frame our understanding of the modern media environment. The evolution of television and the way audiences view media content has dramatically changed and is constantly evolving.
This evolution is illustrated in the practice of viewing sports on television, which has progressed with technology; in 1936 Berlin Germany was the first television viewing station to watch the Summer Olympics of that year. This was the World’s first live stream of sports. Fast forward decades later and viewing your favourite team from anywhere in the world play has been more portable and widely accessible than EVER. Smartphone apps and online streaming services now allow the viewer to watch games instantaneously.
From antennas to live streaming sports, broadcasting companies now are offering bundles of sports channels; for example, Foxtel Australia offers the sports combo for $51 per month, consisting of channels such as all Fox Sports channels, beIN Sports etc. While these companies are offering various subscription packages, public spaces are purchasing and promoting these channels to encourage sports lovers to view the current games. An example of this would be Star City Casino’s 24/7 Sports Bar, a popular public space where sports, gambling and alcohol is on the agenda for the wild Saturday night and also available everyday throughout the week.
As a sports lover, going out with friends a soccer or NRL game is a great pass time for me. In particular, we favour watching the English Premier League (EPL) with a strong focus on Arsenal. Living in Australia at first, it was rather difficult to view a live game, simply due to the time difference, not to mention access to various streams. However as of the start of this year Optus bought the rights to broadcast all EPL games, which has enabled greater access.
As a result of the love I have for watching EPL, my digital project will be based on viewing selected games, and monitoring media habits in relation to several of the key theories we have discussed this session (list these: eg public vs. private space) . I have chosen to watch the game in my own home, at a friends house and in a public space. By doing so I will be measuring and examining:
- My attention levels (how often I lose interest, how often I look at my phone etc)
- Observing the actions of others
- How the atmosphere varies and influences viewing experience
- Are there un-proclaimed rules that we have to follow
Ultimately through experience and observations, I want to find out how space, place and audience influence an individuals viewing experience and learn how the levels of enjoyment differ each time. In pursuing this project stakeholders such as EPL viewers, owners of such public spaces and broadcasting companies can gather a wider understanding of how space, place and audience ultimately affect a viewers experience. Ultimately begin working towards how to enhance and cater to audience viewing and these various trends in a variety of different places.