Moving closer to the audience: watching football on television


  • Cornelia Gerhardt



Espectadores, Televisión, Interacción verbal, Análisis sociolingüístico, Análisis de la conversación, Fútbol


This article aims to describe specific practices of television spectators based on recordings of English families and friends while watching football on television. Their conversations and the talk and events on television are transcribed and analysed with interactional sociolinguistic and conversation analytical methodologies. By doing 'watching football on television', the spectators constitute themselves as a community of practice. Their strategies include direct address of the television (i.e. the commentator or one of the protagonists of the game) and signalling of independent knowledge and emotions to construct their identities of football fan and expert. Conflict between these two identities may become instantiated in the talk. At times, the spectators mutually negotiate the participant role 'party to the talk at home' for the television. This is done by furnishing second pair parts to the commentators' adjacency pairs. Also, it includes respecting the commentators' turns. Having spent countless hours watching football on television, the spectators manage to carefully construct their talk around the commentators' so that one single, coherent conversation emerges. The practices show how the participants as watchers strive to become part of the spectacle using the television as a bridge to the game itself.


Download data is not yet available.



Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Gerhardt, Cornelia. 2006. “Moving Closer to the Audience: Watching Football on Television”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 19 (November):125-48.