Does the game really change? How students consume mediated sports in the age of social media

Jan Boehmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Social media have been said to rival traditional media in the realm of sports. Actual evidence for a change in consumption patterns, though, remains scarce. This study investigates college students’ use of multiple distribution systems in the context of sports. More specifically, the relative importance of Twitter in relation to television is assessed. In addition, variables potentially predicting a greater reliance on Twitter are analyzed. Results indicate that television remains the primary distribution system for sports and that the importance of Twitter might have been overstated. The use of social media does not diminish the consumption of traditional sports broadcasts but is positively correlated. Finally, results of a regression analysis find that a subset of individuals is more likely to rely on Twitter depending on their tendency to engage in parasocial interactions, their Twitter use patterns, and their perceived expertise in sports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-483
Number of pages24
JournalCommunication and Sport
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Parasocial interaction
  • Social media
  • Sport
  • Television
  • Twitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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