Understanding English Premier League (EPL) football in India in terms of media commentaries and how they determine image of English football in this country
India is a cricket crazy country but for the last few years football has become a popular game. Particularly EPL has established its clubs and academies at different parts of India. EPL has been popular in India and there is significant increase in the viewership of EPL matches among Indian since 2006. In this study the author has tried to understand EPL football in India in terms of media commentaries and how they determine its image. The author used coverage of EPL football by Indian media particularly print media as well as conducted interviews with journalists and personnel related to local football to explore how much influence media has on popularizing EPL in India and whether there is difference in the coverage of local and international teams. One significant finding of the study is that EPL has a rising fan base and media is just a medium of reaching the fans and not has much influence on image construction of EPL team. Four main themes emerged from the results of the study; (1) there is no significant difference in the coverage of EPL and Indian local football by media; (2) Football has become popular and there are predictions of its becoming more popular in future. (3) EPL has its viewership which is rising day by day. Seeing its popularity in India, Indian sponsors are purchasing the teams and tournaments' rights. EPL has established clubs and academies in India. And there is scope of its becoming more popular. (4) Though at present local football teams are not able to compete with the international or EPL teams yet, AIFF is trying its best to achieve this standard through training and marketing.(5) Cricket is the top sport in the country and football may not reach its level in popularity but there is scope for it to be second famous game.
Table of Contents
Chapter-1 Introduction 5
Background of the Study 6
Purpose of the Study 7
Chapter-II Literature Review 9
Theoretical Foundation 9
Sports journalism 13
Game coverage and story construction 14
Frame construction in journalism 16
Frame construction in sports journalism 19
Narrative and interpretive processes in sports writing 22
Data Sources and Collection 25
Personal Interviews 25
Content Analysis 25
Combining theme and content analyses 27
Chapter-4 Results and Discussion 29
Media commentaries about EPL in India 29
Rising Popularity of EPL in India 30
AIFF is Promoting Indian Football Team 30
Cricket Verses Football 32
Interview Analysis 32
Main themes 41
Media coverage has no significant influence 41
Rising popularity of football in India 41
Rising viewership of EPL and international Teams in India 42
Improving local football 42
Cricket verses Football 42
English Premier League explored many regions like East Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the U.S. over and above other traditional countries for example Canada and Australia. These countries now have fan clubs of football particularly of EPL and they have helped to maximized the profits on EPL brands but till now India was not considered to be a potential market for Football because of huge popularity of Cricket in this area, hence, broadcasting of EPL matches on a regular basis, and recognition of English football among youth and glamour is present in this game and recently increasing popularity is being noted through media. (Bill Wilson, 2009)
English Football has felt potential in India and they have established clubs here. Mr. Kenyon. Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon expressed the interests and scope for English in India at the meeting of the UK India Business Council at Stamford Bridge. He Said; "There are real, real, positives in India for an English club as I believe football has got a real future in India over the next 10 years"
International business related to media and television programming has gone through a far-reaching conversion since the late 1980s, basically because of the privatization of media firms and the deregulation of industries, which formerly were being controlled by states in majority of countries in the world. In addition to this new video sharing technologies have been introduced, which increased the number of channels to be filled.
Fandom and media are the key elements in popularizing a sport. The growth of commercialization and popularity of football has increased the importance of a fan base. For the purpose of establishing a fan base, sport marketers use strategies to convert casual followers of their program into loyal fans. As loyal fans are more likely to spend money attending games, follow the team in the media, and purchase team apparel (Bauer, Stokburger-Sauer, & Exler, 2008). More importantly, loyal fans spend a considerable amount of time attempting to convince other that their favorite team should be supported. When a team develops a loyal fans base, they have a better chance of building revenues through ticket sales, merchandising, and sponsorship opportunities.
Several theoretical models indicate that an individual follows a fan progression that begins with an initial awareness of a team (e.g.,. Team Identity as Mediating Role Construct, Revised Psychological Continuum Model). Moving forward in the progression, individuals start to experience an attraction and/or attachment to the team (Funk & James, 2006). At this point, the individual has built a level of identification with the team, and experiences a sense of belonging to the group consisting of other fans of the team. The continued development of identification with a team will eventually lead the individual to exhibit attitudinal and behavioral loyalty to the team (Scremin, 2008). Thus, the individual has become a loyal fan of the team.
Being a fan give many people a sense of identity and pride. In cities with teams, local political and business leaders treat their franchises as treasured assets that help generate prestige and prosperity for their communities.
Background of the Study
The coverage of local football in both the English and Hindi press is sparse. As far as screenings are concerned, most matches are not televised and those televised are never advertised. The impression given is that this is a dying league with nothing exciting for the fan to watch or invest in. The English Premier League, however, is a different ball game altogether. While not in the same league as cricket, the EPL enjoys much wider coverage. Matches are telecast with regularity and there is major publicity involved. Newspapers, TV and news channels carry scores and updates on a daily and regular basis. Therefore there is need to dig into the commentaries, what the experts (and people who have actually played the game at its highest level) have to critique about EPL and its fixtures. Besides, what the broadsheets, print media and newspaper reports have to say about Indian engagement with EPL is a major set of articulation that many football fans and followers would indeed relish. The nature of fans of English football in India is intrinsically linked to the kind of coverage the sport receives. The media plays a massive role in how football is portrayed to the public and not just the fans. It is here that the idea of articulation comes into play.
The language differentiation is important since this is capable of offering different hues of EPL as compared to the local leagues. The aspect of print media is important since this contribution of the media is changing the image of football and making it inspirational too. This is important since the print media needs to position the readers' through their writings, especially with regard to real and imagined readerships.
Purpose of the Study
Through this Dissertation the researcher will discuss and analyze focus on the English Premier League (EPL) football in India and its growing frenzied popularity in this country. In the background this writer shall discuss about the previous history of domestic football in this country and the differentiations between football and cricket from a spectator's perspective and public imagination
The main objective of this study is actually the commentaries made by members of the Indian media articulate fans and spectators. It is they who tell the general public what it is that the spectators are doing.
It will also be considered which forces are behind the growing popularity of EPL in India, and the forces behind these phenomena. The author will analyze media commentaries about both the EPL football as well as local football leagues and a comparison of both. The focus of the research will be on two important aspects of EPL football- fan followings and media commentaries.
Chapter-II Literature Review
The moment one has to discuss sport, its spectatorship also comes into focus. Who watches the sport i.e. its fans are as crucial as the sport itself. Sports teams help communities define their uniqueness both to themselves and to the outside world (Winningham, 1979; Schudson, 1995; Oriard, 2001). In turn, the coverage of sports becomes…