PhD Thesis

Filotrani, L. (2023). MAINSTREAM MEDIA COVERAGE (UK) OF ESPORTS TOURNAMENT THE ‘EPREMIER LEAGUE’ FINALS 2019 AND 2021. A MIXED-METHODS STUDY. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Arts and Creative Industries
AuthorsFilotrani, L.
TypePhD Thesis

This study investigates the factors limiting mainstream media coverage of esports in the UK, specifically focusing on EA Sports' FIFA Series. The research aims to assess the current landscape of esports journalism, mainstream media perception, familiarity with the term 'esports', content categorisation, coverage extent, live event viewership, and potential barriers and opportunities for increased exposure. Despite the growing academic interest in esports, there is a noticeable gap in research regarding mainstream media coverage of esports in UK newspaper and broadcast journalism and of esports journalism. This project's critical analysis therefore of esports journalism offers a timely and original contribution to understanding the relationship between mainstream UK media and the niche esports broadcast/ journalism sector, and the factors influencing the sector’s limited exposure. Employing a mixed-methods approach, this study combines quantitative and qualitative data collection methods such as surveys, content analysis, and interviews. Focusing on mainstream media coverage of esports, the research utilises Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation Theory (2003) and Tidd and Bessant’s 4Ps of Innovation Model (2021) to explore the potential for esports to become a sustainable sector in the UK's digital economy. The study concentrates on the UK tournament the 'ePremier League' 2019 and 2021 and its reception by UK mainstream media, examining the relationship between traditional and new media platforms. The findings reveal a lack of significant value for esports in UK mainstream media, distrust of mainstream media within the esports sector, and a discrepancy in the categorisation of esports content between mainstream and esports media. This study highlights the need for independent investigative reporting and improved understanding of the esports sector within mainstream media to foster its growth and acceptance. The results hold considerable significance for various stakeholders, including publishers, policymakers, and analysts. For instance, the National Union of Journalists and the British Association of Journalists will find the insights on current journalistic practices valuable. Educational organisations such as the National Training Council of Journalists will appreciate findings regarding the importance of professional training for journalists. Likewise, mainstream broadcasters and esports media, including SKY Sports and Gfinity, will be interested in findings related to live streaming and broadcasting live esports events.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Print20 Nov 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Jan 2024
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