Despite its ubiquitous presence in mediated sports, the influence of in-stadium crowd response on media audiences has escaped inquiry. Considerable evidence from both within and beyond the context of sports suggests that a co-spectator’s behavior can generate “intra-audience effects” that enhance perceptions of and response to game events. To test this in the context of broadcast sports, an experiment was conducted whereby participants provided moment-to-moment evaluations of radio broadcasts of soccer where mediated spectator response was systematically altered. Results demonstrate mediated intra-audience effects that yielded both inflated perceptions of the exiting nature of play and increased sense of spatial immersion in the mediated environment. The effect was most pronounced when game events were not intrinsically exciting.
- Media effects
- Sports broadcasting