Thursday, September 29, 2011

ESPN = Globalization

(Michael LaBelle)

Thursday September 29th

My case study presentation will be covering the topic: How does globalization shape media products and industry? I will be focusing on how ESPN has made the transition from a distinguished domestic corporation and expanded their sports coverage worldwide. The innovation and growth of technology in addition to media outlets has allowed ESPN the opportunities to continuously move forward with their company.

Currently ESPN is the largest sports broadcasting/programming company in the United States. They cover nearly every event nationwide from collegiate basketball to professional hockey. They have now embedded themselves in countless countries in order to follow sporting events worldwide and adjust cultural proximity to make it easier for locals to engage. The newest development ESPN has added to its arsenal is domestic channels in other countries. They signed a deal with the United Kingdom in 2009 that allowed a partnership involving the Barclays Premier League. This enabled them access to each match and the ability to produce news/highlights within the UK. The Barclays Premier League in Europe is the equivalent to football on Sundays in America. ESPN has utilized the surge of “social media” to their advantage giving the consumers instant updates via Twitter, Facebook,, and text alerts. The great appeal of sports communication is that though language is considerably important it’s not a total barrier when it comes to highlights. The majority of fans tune in for exciting plays. In each match the consumer can see the passion and the body language from the players which is almost a language all its own. ESPN has accepted this fact and have generated what seems like an overnight success with the amount of growth already accomplished internationally. However ESPN must elevate much more while following government regulations in each country if they wish to reach their self-announced claim of ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Sports.

1 comment:

michs09 said...

This week’s case study question addresses globalization with media involvement as it integrates between nations. Each presentation this week was very interesting because they all involved globalization but had separate takes on how the media affects their topic.
You had Disney’s underlying political references through movies, Aljazeera’s regionalization, and Bollywood’s use of traditional cultural proximity that generated a huge audience outside of India.

Globalizing changes the way other nations understand culture, products, and technology. The influence of globalization with media often changes or can change the entire industry. A great example was my topic over ESPN. Many other nations only see sports like basketball or football during the major events like the Olympics or the SuperBowl. The involvement of sports in the United States is a large portion of our culture. This works in vice versa also, the number one sport in the world is soccer which ranks closer to five or six in the United States due to lack of exposure. During my presentation I described ESPN’s expansion and some of the techniques used to globalize their already established corporation. Since ESPN is opening domestic channels in other countries they must follow very strict rules of regulation while maintaining the correct cultural proximity for their audience. The main discussion question talked about in class was “Should there be an official set or rules/laws to regulate globalization?” The reason this hasn’t been made yet is because each country is different in terms of regulatory rules. With International law it focuses on enforcement, and in this case how can you enforce globalization worldwide? The process of setting guidelines would take multiple meetings between unions in order to create a list of acceptable procedures to regulate globalization.

Check below, information about branding and globalizing provided by the VP of ESPN International

Global Business Perspective: Russell E. Wolf on Building a Global Sports Brand