Course syllabus



COMMS 303: Sports Media

SEMESTER 1, 2018

Points:                    15

Pre-requisites:   30 points from FTVMS/MEDIA and/or COMMS Stage 2 (including Māori 271)

Lectures:             Wednesday 2-4pm, ARTS 1, Room 220

                             TV Studio, KMC, Shortland Street  (2 weeks only)                                                            

Convenor:       Dr Margaret Henley      


                         Room 537 HSB,  x87571  

Office Hours:   Tues 11-12pm        

                         Thurs 1 – 2 pm                                                                   

Lecturers:         Dr Margaret Henley, Professor Toni Bruce


Tutor:                Margaret Henley

Tutorials:         Thurs 1-2 OGGB: Room 323

                         Thurs 2-3, OGGB: Room 323

MeCo Tuākana Mentor: tba tuā

Course delivery format:

2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial

(Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)

 Summary of Course Description:              

This course examines the relationship between sport and the media. Topics include: sports journalism; broadcasting industry practice; the mediated game event; online communities of fandom; game commentary; sports law; issues of race and gender, sports journalism and social media. Students have the opportunity to experience outside broadcast of televised sport and learn to crew the university television studio to record interviews with key media sport professionals and athletes.

The course is designed to provide students with a theoretical base from which to understand the media sport nexus as well as to create an opportunity to undertake independent research and have a taste of television studio production. You do not have to be a keen sports fan or a competing athlete to do the course but you must be prepared to attend a range of sporting events, view televised sport and engage with sports media and related social media.

Inclusive learning

Students are urged to discuss privately any impairment-related requirements face-to-face and/or in written form with the course convenor, lecturer and/or tutor.



                                                Game analysis for NRL coaches during League 9s 


COMMS 303 is internally assessed.

1) 1ST Assignment                                                  30%

    Close reading: print and television journalism                                                                  

2) Reading Responses                                           10%

    Weeks 1-6 =  5%

    Weeks 7-11 = 5%

3) Proposal for 2nd Assignment                               5%

   Planning for major research assignment   

4) 2ND Assignment - Individual research project     30%

5) Tutorial Participation                                           5%

6) In-class Test                                                       20%

Online essay based on pre-sighted video footage available on vimeo one week prior to test.


The lectures are a mix of historical and contemporary material that provide links between sport, media and culture from a theoretical and a broadcast industry/journalism perspective. If you don’t ever watch the sports news on television, read the print media sports section in hardcopy or online, watch sports shows on television or the internet, access sport apps on your iphone, play ‘e’-sport or read the sports celebrity gossip in the women’s magazines – now is the time to start!

The 2nd Assignment provides students with the opportunity to undertake field research; students are required to attend a live game of televised sport and/or conduct an interview with a media sport professional or an athlete. Students will present regular brief research progress reports at tutorials during the semester. Each year a number of students are able to experience a ‘behind the scenes’ opportunity with SKY sport in an OB van during a live broadcast of professional sport and attend the live transmission of ‘The Crowd Goes Wild’ at the SKY television studio.

It is important that you have regular access to television and online media as not all material will be supplied in the AV Library or via vimeo. However, we will do the best we can to supply you with the AV material you require but make sure that you give us notice in advance.   Academic articles are provided on Canvas, but this should not be considered as the only reading required on the course. A more comprehensive bibliography and film/videography list will also be provided on Canvas to extend your reading. However this does not cover the extensive range of peer reviewed articles available in online academic journals.                                                                                                                                                                             

             vlcsnap-2016-02-02-16h26m52s447.png 141.JPG

 COMMS 303 students conducting interviews with media sport professionals for their annual 'Full Credit' programme recorded in the university's television studio. The guest in photo 1 above is a former member of the course who earned a COMMS 303 SKY Sport internship and now works in the media sport and broadcasting industry.

Course Reading

Set Texts:   303 weekly course readings on Canvas


‘Routledge Handbook of Sport Communication’, ed. Paul Pedersen. London:Routledge. 2013

‘Sport and the Media: Managing the Nexus’,Nicolson et al, 2nd edition,London:Routledge,    2015.

‘Sports Journalism: A Practical Guide’, Phil Andrews, London:Sage, 2005

‘Routledge Handbook of Sport and New Media'. Eds. Billings & Hardin. London:Routlege, 2014


Weekly Topics:

Week1: Sport and Globalisation

Week 2: Outside Broadcast Sport & the live game event

Week 3: Sport, Gender & Ethnicity

Week 4: Traditional and new media journalism

Week 5: The Sports Stadium as social and interactive sports space

Week 6: Netball: the broadcast game and the online fan community

Week 7: Media sport and the law

Week 8: Rehearsal for TV Studio interviews

Week 9: Live recording of Media sport interviews TV studio

Week 10: E-Sport and the digial stadium experience

Week 11: The athlete as celebrity

Week 12:  In class test.

Course outcomes and employability skills:

A student who successfully completes this course will have the opportunity to:

  • acquire theoretcial and practical knowledge of the media sport and broadcasting industries
  • acquire skills in critical thinking, academic literacy.
  • develop their own research project and theorise their practical experience in the field.
  • Learn how to crew a television studio and master the skills of a live television interview
  • experience behind the scenes televised sport production and professional television studio broadcasting
  • apply for a SKY Television Sport internship

Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you may be required to provide supporting information before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension may be penalised by loss of marks – check course information for details.

Course summary:

Date Details