Title: Audience frustration and pleasure: Women viewers confront televised women’s basketball
Journal / Publication: Journal of Sport & Social Issues
Pages: 373 – 397
Authors: Bruce, Toni
Building on the extensive literature on media representations of women’s sports, this study explored how fans of women’s basketball interpreted television’s representations of the game. In-depth interviews revealed that watching televised basketball was often frustrating for viewers who encountered representations that did not reflect their experiences or desires but, instead, devalued, trivialized, and stereotyped women athletes. However, rather than internalize such messages, as much research on media representations of sportswomen has assumed, they actively challenged television’s view and created their own, more positive, interpretations. Their attempts to experience pleasure in televised women’s basketball were, however, undercut by both the visual production and commentary.