The Rise of Televised Sport

McLuhan and Fiore, War and Peace in the Global Village, 1968, p.171:

Games stand in relation to new technology somewhat in the form of clothing. Radio and baseball were well matched, but television has killed baseball and advanced football and ice hockey. Baseball was quite incompatible with the television spectator's role of participation in tactile depth. Baseball insists on careful timing and one play at a time. English cricket would be equally futile on television since its plays are much less frequent. Soccer, however, has had a huge revival with television quite apart from the television watcher. It has been the altered sensibilities of the whole culture in the bodily contact direction that have revived soccer. The new games of surfboarding, water skiing, and snow skiing are fascinating examples of a new taste for dynamic contour exploration in which the participant amidst the most exciting environment is almost entirely visceral rather than visual in his involvement. It can be safely predicted that color television will drive people much further in this direction, for there is a world of difference between color television and black and white.


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