Call for Papers | “Sports events in a transmedia landscape”, Special Issue of MedieKultur: Journal of media and communication research. Call ends February 15, 2023

Guest editors
      • Professor Kirsten Frandsen, Aarhus University, Denmark
      • Associate professor, Line Nybro Petersen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
      • Associate professor Mogens Olesen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
(Shutterstock/red mango)

Sport and sport events are in many ways among the most popular media phenomena today. Television broadcasters continue to invest heavily to secure exclusive live coverage rights for both their broadcasting and streaming platforms, while global tech platforms and live sports streaming platforms, like Amazon Prime, Facebook, DAZN and Tencent, have started intervening in the rights coverage markets (Hutchins et al. 2019). As television continues to have a primary anchoring role for both organizers and audiences of big traditional sports events (Hutchins & Sanderson 2017), social networking services extend the narration and experience of sports and events, making sport one of the most discussed topics on social network platforms, which in turn informs content in television programming. However traditional sports events are now accompanied by the proliferation of e-sport events like the League of Legends World Championship and the Fortnite World Cup which also encompass distinct fan cultures and production and distribution strategies across many platforms.

Sport events in the digital environment must therefore be understood as a more diverse range of events, where audiences engage in new sports and in new converging practices that can be termed ‘participatory liveness’ (Frandsen, Jerslev & Mortensen, 2022). They are transmedia events, like in the case of Tour de France where a multiplicity of audio and visual media are involved in both production and reception processes. Organization of sport events involve a combined orchestration of activities and strategic interests of multiple agents, including sport organizations, media organizations, global platforms, gaming producers, political bodies, local organizers, sponsors, tourist organizations, audiences and fans. Thus sports events are central for processes of promotion, datafication, platformization and intensified commodification as well. Through their presence as spectators at the games and through television viewing and participatory practices online (Jenkins 2008, Rowe & Hutchins 2014), audiences and fans actively contribute to the creation of major sport competitions as media events (Dayan & Katz 1994).

While often constituting festive and ritualized expressions of imagined communities with shared values, sport events are increasingly used as vehicles of soft power (Nye 2004) on the geopolitical scene and emerge as stages for public discussions and expressions of topical political and cultural themes including mental health, identity, gender, race, climate and human rights. Issues of conflict and protests against hegemonic ideologies and structures seem to become more prominent in the mediated discourses creating the events as media events. In particular, the preparations for two mega-events in 2022, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the Winter Olympics in Beijing, have been dominated by broader political controversies. These developments are underpinned by continued globalization and digitization and point to a need for further discussion of the sport event as media event (Hepp & Couldry 2010).

This issue welcomes examinations of sport events with particular attention to the role of media and platforms in processes of production of events and/or in related fan strategies and practices – this may include discussions of global and local interests surrounding sport events, and of fan activist movements emerging from or using sport events to promote specific debates.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

      • Digital activism and movements directed at or provoked by sport events
      • Sports organizations’ transmedia production strategies
      • Strategic collaborations between sport organizations, local organizers and politicians
      • Transmedia perspectives on the relations between mass media and social network media
      • Fan cultures’ digital and non-digital practices in relation to sport events
      • E-sports events as media events
      • Sport events on social media platforms
      • The role of affect and emotions among media and fan reactions to sport events
      • Sport as events for and possibilities for promoting political issues
      • Sport as events for and possibilities for creating or strengthening senses of imagines communities
      • Regional and global differences in receptions and interpretations of sport events
      • Theoretical approaches to sports events as media events or subject to processes of platformization and/or datafication.

Abstracts should contain a maximum of 1500 words excluding references. It should include the research question(s) addressed, theoretical and methodological approaches. Abstracts should be submitted as a Word document via our journal system at

      • Deadline for abstract submission: February 15, 2023
      • Acknowledgement of acceptance for full paper submission: March 15, 2023
      • Deadline for full paper: June 30, 2023
      • Expected publication: November 2023


Dayan, D., & Katz, E. (1992). Media events: The live broadcasting of history. Harvard University Press.
Frandsen, K., Jerslev, A. & Mortensen, M. (2022). Media events in the age of global, digital media: Centring, scale, and participatory liveness. Nordic Journal of Media Studies, 4 (1), 1-18.
Hepp, A., & Couldry, N. (2010). Introduction. In N. Couldry, A. Hepp, & F. Krotz (Eds.), Media events in a global age (pp. 1–21). Routledge.
Hutchins, B., Li, B. & Rowe, D. (2019).  Over-the-top sport: live streaming services, changing coverage rights markets and the growth of media sport portals. Medie, Culture & Society, 41(7), 975-994.
Hutchins, B., & Sanderson, J. (2017). The primacy of sports television: Olympic media, social networking services, and multi-screen viewing during the Rio 2016 Games. Media International Australia, 164(1), 32–42.
Jenkins, R. (2008). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York University Press.
Nye, J. S. (2004). Soft power : The means to success in world politics. PublicAffairs.
Rowe, D. & Hutchins, B. (2014). Globalization and online audiences. In Billings, A.C. & Harding, M. (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Sport and New Media (pp. 7-18). Routledge.

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