Page last updated:December 2, 2013

Alcohol marketing in televised English professional football

A study explored the frequency of alcohol marketing (both formal commercials and otherwise) in televised top-class English professional football matches. Researchers examined coverage of six top-class English club football matches, broadcast on the BBC, ITV and Sky TV in the UK in early 2012. (total = 1101 min). A customised coding framework was used to identify and categorise all verbal and visual alcohol references in non-commercial broadcasting. The number and the duration of all formal alcohol commercials were also noted.

There were 2,042 visual references to alcohol (mainly in the form of logos or branding alongside or on the field of play). There were also 32 verbal mentions of alcohol, which were usually commentators mentioning the alcohol brand sponsoring the event. During all six broadcasts, there were only 17 formal alcohol commercials, making up just 0.6% of the broadcast time. A mean of 111 visual references and 2 verbal references to alcohol per hour of broadcast were identified.

The authors conclude that visual alcohol references in televised top-class English football matches are common with an average of nearly two per minute. Verbal references are rare and formal alcohol commercials account for <1% of broadcast time.

Source: Alcohol marketing in televised english professional football: A frequency analysis. Andrew Graham and Jean Adams. Alcohol and Alcoholism (2013) doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agt140. First published online: September 10, 2013 (open access).

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