Instant Replay Becomes Staple of Sports Television Viewing Experience
January 29, 2015
Texas Tech lab research examines instant replay impact on viewer perception and emotion.
Glenn Cummins, an assistant professor and associate dean for research in the Texas Tech University
College of Media & Communication, has performed extensive research on how instant replay has affected the sports television
viewing audience. His research is particularly applicable with the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Click here to read more on his research - and about the Center for Communication Research.
Glenn Cummins, assistant professor and associate dean for research, College of Media
& Communication, (806) 834-3117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- As Super Bowl XLIX approaches, television executives expect millions to be glued to
their television sets watching the big game. In the course of a broadcast, most plays
will be shown at least twice, some several times depending on their importance to
the game. That illustrates how big of a staple instant replay has become to the sports
viewing audience. It's also an area for which Texas Tech professor Glenn Cummins has
spent countless hours researching the effects, physiologically and emotionally, instant
replay has on the viewing audience.
- Cummins' research has looked mostly at football and how networks and broadcasters
fill the 30-40 seconds between plays. He's examined not only the techniques broadcasters
use to fill those gaps, but also the emotional responses those techniques elicit and
how they affect the viewing audience going forward.
- Cummins said not only does instant replay bring a response to the current play, it
also produces a heightened anticipation of the upcoming play more than if there was
no instant replay. Essentially, human emotion in watching a play does not have to
start over each play because the emotional response from the previous play bleeds
into the next.
- “What I'm interested in is how the technical embellishments, the production techniques
that have been brought to bear in a telecast can be used to craft and influence viewer
response. Networks can't control the nature of the matchup. They can't make both teams
be good. What's in their control are the technical resources developed over time to
cover a competition.”
- “My focus is on how broadcasters strategically use instant replay to achieve some
sort of end. The two things I look at in my research are how instant replay is being
used to change the perception of events and how instant replay can produce an emotional
response to what you're seeing.”
- “An exciting play is going to be exciting no matter what. The touchdown, the home
run will get the audience going. Dull plays need all the help they can get. In terms
of perception, instant replay does a terrific job of changing how people perceive