One of the biggest benefits of the 21st century to our lives has been digitization. Now, we have come to use technological devices more than ever before in all areas of our lives. Differentiation of publishing, which is a result we see in our daily lives, is of great importance for everyone. Consequently, it is inevitable for the sports media to be affected by these innovations.
With the sports channels opened in the early 2000s, we witnessed an increase in sports commentators and programs on TV and some of them became very popular. Sports channels such as Lig TV, D Spor, NTV Spor broadcasted content to create sports awareness for many people in this trend. Together with sports programs such as “Marathon”, “100% Football”, “Yensen De Yensen De”, “90+”, “Kırmızı Çizgi”, they determined the main points of the discussions of sports fans. While some channels said goodbye to their broadcasting lives early, some sports channels continued on their way uninterruptedly for many years. The biggest reason why the channels are football-focused is that our country has passionate about football. Comments were made on sports such as basketball, volleyball and tennis, and documentaries were prepared, but none of them attracted as much attention as football.
In the early 2010s, the increase in sports channels and the interest shown continued exponentially with each passing day. Institutions such as TRT Spor, Tivibu Spor and A Spor also took their place in this platform. All companies were trying to get the broadcasting rights of the competitions and broadcast the matches on their own channels. Doğuş Group made a decision that would affect the industry when sports broadcasting was at its peak on television. NTV Spor, which has an understanding of quality broadcasting by showing the same respect to every sports branch in an exceptional way and has made a generation love sports, said goodbye to its broadcast life on 17 March 2018. With the closure of such a large channel, the channel’s reporters and commentators would either agree with another channel or switch to digital broadcasting. In fact, the “diverging” side of the story was just beginning.
Organizations such as Vole and Socrates Dergi started their broadcasts on YouTube in 2018 and played important role as a kind of bridge in the transition. When we come to 2021, it is impossible not to notice that there has been a huge leap forward in programs on digital platforms in such a short time. When we look at the reasons for this situation, we can say that commentators with a high “viewable” level should switch to digital platforms. The people we used to see on TVs and watch with interest now prefer the digital side. Because commentators may choose to program with people who get along better on the digital platform, but not on TV. As such, the program on YouTube can be more intimate and more comfortable than the TV one. Sincerity also reflects on the audience positively. Another advantage for reporters and commentators is that the need for a suit or shirt is less.
If we look at the subject from the perspective of the audience, in our world where time is very important, watching the desired content at the desired place and time and the program durations being more suitable to watch directs the audience more to digital platforms. Names such as Kaan Kural, Emre Özcan, Murat Murathanoğlu and Mehmet Demirkol, who are experts in their field, also create an area of attraction.
As a result, it is certain that the rise of digital platforms in sports broadcasting will continue. One of the biggest examples in recent history supporting this idea is Amazon’s acquisition of the rights to the English Premier League. Despite the example of all league matches in our country on the digital, even if it seems difficult in the short term, it is not impossible in the long term. Changes are certain to happen, but we cannot go beyond guessing about what and how they will happen.