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Analysis and Comment (22)

Sport is often compared with religion in Australia. But how do fans' relationships with their football teams manifest? Sport is often compared with religion in Australia. But how do fans' relationships with their football teams manifest? AAP/Joe Castro

More than a game: how attached are we to our teams?

At some point, you’ve no doubt heard someone say “football is my religion”. And if we follow French sociologist Emile Durkheim’s famous building blocks for religion, we will find that football is not far…
The role played in ‘normalising’ gambling in sport and society by the likes of online bookmaker Tom Waterhouse was examined by the ABC’s Four Corners program. The role played in ‘normalising’ gambling in sport and society by the likes of online bookmaker Tom Waterhouse was examined by the ABC’s Four Corners program. AAP/Paul Miller

Born to bet? Four Corners on the Tom Waterhouse media effect

Last night, ABC’s Four Corners investigated Tom Waterhouse’s heavily marketed entrance to the online Australian sports wagering industry. Along the way it showed the ways in which the gambling industry…
The Channel 9-Cricket Australia broadcast rights dispute drags on, now reaching the courts: could cricket broadcasting icon Richie Benaud soon be lost from our screens? The Channel 9-Cricket Australia broadcast rights dispute drags on, now reaching the courts: could cricket broadcasting icon Richie Benaud soon be lost from our screens? AAP/Dean Lewins

When law, business and media collide, is sport the only loser?

Cricket Australia’s Supreme Court legal action against its host broadcaster of the past 36 years, Channel Nine, is the manifestation of an identifiable pattern. It continues a time-honoured practice in…
Alcohol marketing is ubiquitous in AFL broadcasts as can be seen in this shot from a match on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Alcohol marketing is ubiquitous in AFL broadcasts as can be seen in this shot from a match on Saturday, May 4, 2013. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Beer and chips protected species as sports ban healthy eating ads

The Australian Football League (AFL) and Cricket Australia have refused to sell advertising space to a Tasmanian man trying to raise awareness of the impact of junk food and alcohol advertising linked…
As the drugs scandal continues to plague Essendon, its ‘hardcore’ fans have stood by the club and embattled coach James Hird. As the drugs scandal continues to plague Essendon, its ‘hardcore’ fans have stood by the club and embattled coach James Hird. AAP/David Crosling

Drugs in sport saga: do the fans really care?

When the drugs in Australian sport investigation was announced in early February, much was made of the importance of protecting fans from the actions of wrongdoers. But here we are, three months into this…
Alcohol, tobacco, and fast-food industry sponsorship of sport sends the wrong message to the population. Alcohol, tobacco, and fast-food industry sponsorship of sport sends the wrong message to the population. Dean Lewins/AAP

‘As a matter of fact, I’ve got it now’: alcohol advertising and sport

Sport is generally a healthy activity that transmits important societal values, such as fairness, perseverance, and teamwork. Unfortunately, it’s also the primary vehicle for marketing alcohol to the general…
The reliance on wealthy benefactors to run sports teams is a poor business model. The reliance on wealthy benefactors to run sports teams is a poor business model. AAP

A rich man’s game: the problem with sport’s ‘white knights’ and private ownership

Last week, with a certain depressing predictability, the Australian Tax Office applied to wind up the Newcastle Knights rugby league and Jets football teams over unpaid tax liabilities approaching $3 million…
Channel Nine’s depiction of Kerry Packer’s ‘cricket revolution’ during the 1970s has attracted strong ratings and critical acclaim. Channel Nine’s depiction of Kerry Packer’s ‘cricket revolution’ during the 1970s has attracted strong ratings and critical acclaim. AAP/Paul Miller

The 1970s cricket ‘revolution’: a beginner’s guide

Over the previous two Sunday evenings the Nine television network broadcast a mini-series titled Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War. It was a dramatisation of a revolutionary time in Australian cricket when media…
Interim Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive Shane Mattiske (left) shakes the hand of Nine CEO David Gyngell after a five-year broadcasting deal was struck between the NRL, Fox Sports and Nine. Interim Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive Shane Mattiske (left) shakes the hand of Nine CEO David Gyngell after a five-year broadcasting deal was struck between the NRL, Fox Sports and Nine. AAP

The winners and losers in the NRL’s broadcasting rights deal

The new broadcasting deal struck this week by the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) represents an outstanding result as well as a lost opportunity. The $1.025 billion that the Nine Network and…
Do the economic costs outweigh the benefits of hosting an Olympic Games? Do the economic costs outweigh the benefits of hosting an Olympic Games? AAP

Hosting the Olympics: cash cow or money pit?

The London Olympic Games are about to begin. There will be much fierce competition as contestants “go for gold”. That London is the host city for the 2012 Summer Olympics involved another sort of competition…
The Olympic Games operate as a very complex franchise business, with each city taking a different approach to the management of the event. The Olympic Games operate as a very complex franchise business, with each city taking a different approach to the management of the event. AAP

Managing the Games franchise is an Olympian feat

Tell me something I don’t know about the Olympics! This statement, levelled at me at a dinner party last week, is the most recent incarnation of enquiries about my research into the Olympic Games. Always…
Has Cadel Evans single-handedly lifted the Australian cycling industry? Has Cadel Evans single-handedly lifted the Australian cycling industry? AFP/Pascal Pavani

The Cadel Effect: Australia’s cycling industry enters a yellow jersey era

CYCLING IN AUSTRALIA: At a Sport Australia Hall of Fame function last night, Australian cyclist Cadel Evans was named winner of The Don award for the year’s most inspirational sporting moment. In July…
The AFL may bypass broadcasters altogether and stream games live to fans. The AFL may bypass broadcasters altogether and stream games live to fans. AAP

Non-stop AFL: Andrew Demetriou has an app for that

Interesting to read AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou’s thoughts on the next broadcasting rights deal, given that the league has yet to work out how to divvy up the money from the deal it recently negotiated with…
Not so taxing: Bernard Tomic’s decision to reside in Monaco means he avoids paying tax. Not so taxing: Bernard Tomic’s decision to reside in Monaco means he avoids paying tax. AAP

A taxing question: does Tomic qualify as an Australian hero?

BUSINESS OF SPORT: Australia is renowned for a sporting prowess that is remarkable for its population. Australians love their sporting heroes, from footballers to international tennis stars. Many Australians…
Australian fans at the women’s soccer World Cup this month. Australian fans at the women’s soccer World Cup this month. AAP

The genesis of soccer in Australia

Soccer in Australia has a long and misunderstood history. Where many assume it only gained popularity with the arrival of large numbers of migrants from Europe post-WWII, the reality is that the round…
Rugby union’s potential demise has been greatly exaggerated. Rugby union’s potential demise has been greatly exaggerated.

Rugby union football in the 21st century: quo vadis?

Rumours of the demise of rugby union are a bit like those of Mark Twain’s “first” death - greatly exaggerated. The recent and sudden appearance of a hybrid rugby code ⎯ supported by Mark Ella and played…
Despite the success of the State of Origin, rugby league still lags behind the AFL in terms of popularity. Despite the success of the State of Origin, rugby league still lags behind the AFL in terms of popularity. AAP

How bad governance is holding rugby league back

The move to establish an independent commission to run rugby league is a long overdue acknowledgement that strong corporate governance is essential in the small but intensely competitive Australian market…
Australia’s FIFA World Cup bid cost $45 million, but lost out to Qatar. Australia’s FIFA World Cup bid cost $45 million, but lost out to Qatar. AAP

How much do we really gain from the money we spend on sport?

BUSINESS OF SPORT: Australian taxpayers are right to question government spending. For example, we have recently seen debate over policies such as the National Broadband Network and the Home Insulation…
Maria Sharapova has managed to move her appeal beyond sexiness. Maria Sharapova has managed to move her appeal beyond sexiness. AAP

Playing the (wo)man: why women’s sport is still all about sex appeal

BUSINESS OF SPORT: The marketing of women in sport in Australia in 2011 is simple: sex sells. Don’t take my word for it though. Google the name of any female athlete and chances are the top search results…
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou announces the league’s record TV rights deal. AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou announces the league’s record TV rights deal. AAP

Too much live sport is never enough

The lucrative broadcast rights deal signed earlier this year by the AFL demonstrates the pulling power of “live” sport in a TV market which is increasingly becoming fragmented by more choice on more platforms…
Foxtel’s broadcasting deal with the AFL will boost News Ltd’s revenue from live sport. Foxtel’s broadcasting deal with the AFL will boost News Ltd’s revenue from live sport. AAP

What’s News Ltd’s winning formula? Cashing in on our sport obsession

Almost 15 years have passed since Rupert Murdoch declared that “sport absolutely overpowers film and everything else in the entertainment genre,” yet the media mogul’s words still capture the reality of…