Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How local television sports broadcasters are using Twitter: Informing and engaging their followers, promoting their sportscasts, and using self-presentation techniques
by Hull, Kevin, Ph.D., University of Florida, 2015, 200; 10298980
Abstract (Summary)

As local sports broadcasters face diminished roles during the evening newscast, the social network Twitter has emerged as a viable way for sportscasters to engage and interact with viewers. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of Twitter in relation to the daily activities of local television sports broadcasters. Through a mixed-methods approach, both the tweets of sportscasters and their opinions of Twitter were examined. Content analytic methods were used to analyze 19,649 tweets from 201 local sports broadcasters throughout the United States over a two-week period. The tweets were coded into one of 23 different categories based on the type of message. In addition, an online survey was sent to the same broadcasters to determine why they use Twitter, their thoughts on the social network, and television station management’s role in their Twitter use.

Framed by self-presentation theory, an analysis of the tweets determined that local sports broadcasters were using Twitter primarily as a work-related tool (front stage persona) and not as a way to give their followers a glimpse at their personal lives (backstage persona). Survey responses demonstrated that 92% of local sports broadcasters have a positive impression of Twitter and do not mind the extra tasks that using Twitter adds to their workday. In addition, a combination of both the survey and tweet analysis revealed that local sports broadcasters are not frequently using Twitter to promote their evening sportscast or the television station website; however, the broadcasters are not encouraged by management to promote during months when ratings are measured. Tweet content remains relatively unchanged during ratings months when compared to other months in which ratings are not measured. Further, the majority of sports broadcasters reported that they have never received any type of social media training either in college or through their employer.

Tweet content and survey responses also were measured and analyzed by gender, race, ethnicity, and employment market size. Theoretical implications regarding self-presentation theory and theory of the firm are discussed. In addition, recommendations for how local sports broadcasters should be using Twitter are provided.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dodd, Julie
School: University of Florida
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Journalism, Mass communications
Keywords: Broadcasting, Sports, Twitter
Publication Number: 10298980
ISBN: 978-1-369-42003-6
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