ESPN

COVERAGE of the SUPER BOWL & NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

This page provides a summary of research results for ESPNs photographic coverage of the 2013 Super Bowl and the final game of the NCAA March Madness tournament.

ESPN’S PHOTOS of the SUPER BOWL*

During the 2013 Super Bowl, ESPN ran extensive visual coverage of the game, with individual images large and thumbnail-sized, an extensive photo gallery, and YouTube-hosted videos throughout its name site and its affiliate sports/entertainment site Grantland.  Most of the photographs published by ESPN were originally taken by USA Today and Getty Images photographers. However, ESPN did use their own photographers for some of its original content.

Overall, researchers pinned* 130 photos from ESPN the night of and day after the Super Bowl, as compared to 25 photos from the NCAA Championship game.  Across both games, ESPN emphasized coverage of the play action, but heavily covered the post-game, especially for the NCAA final match.

ESPN showcased the Raven’s chance to hold Lombardi Trophy. — Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

  • ESPN heavily focused on the winners, to the exclusion of the losers in both the Super Bowl and the NCAA March Madness tournament final.  
  • ESPN not only featured the post-game events, it gave overall more attention to the winning Ravens and Cardinal teams. 

(Click here to see ESPN’s Super Bowl photos that researchers pinned to Pinterest.)


ESPN PHOTOS of the NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME*

While ESPN.com extensively covered both the Super Bowl and the final game of March Madness, the sheer magnitude of the Super Bowl as a one night a year event as opposed to March Madness, which takes place over many nights, undoubtedly contributed to the lopsided photo coverage of the two games.

ESPN featured a shot of Rick Pitino and his players celebrating Louisville’s national title. — Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

  • ESPN.com ran almost twice as many photos of the post-game as it did of the game itself.

(Click here to see ESPN’s NCAA Championship photos that researchers pinned to Pinterest.)

These images from ESPN are a sampling of its photo coverage of the Super Bowl and the NCAA Championship game. Clicking a photo links to the Pinterest board of that photo.

Focus of ESPN’s Photo Coverage during the Super Bowl and NCAA Championship Game

ESPN emphasized the post-game celebration of quarterback Joe Flacco’s win against the San Francisco 49ers. — ESPN

ESPN showcased the Georgia Dome turning into a party for the champion Louisville Cardinals. — Robert Deutsch/USA Today

ESPN Super Bowl

SUPER BOWL: ESPN ran extensive photographic coverage of the Baltimore Ravens post-game celebrations

ESPN NCAA

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP: Post-game photos of Louisville accounted for three-fifths of ESPN’s photographic coverage — more than any other category combined


PINTEREST: Researchers could not “pin” videos or photo thumbnails to Pinterest from the ESPN site, although they could pin photographs located on ESPN’s homepage, as well as those in its news articles, photo galleries and its affiliate site Grantland. As a result, researchers could not represent all the components of the full visual experience of a visitor to ESPN via Pinterest.   In addition,  researchers could only “pin” from ESPN’s Twitter account; it could not pin from other ESPN social media, including its Instagram and Facebook account.  (Facebook does not allow “pin” capability on its site.)

CONTEXTESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) was launched on September 7, 1979. ESPN is operated today by The Walt Disney Company as a partner network to ABC. ESPN has TV, magazine, radio and Web outlets that provide 24/7 sports coverage including breaking news, statistics, live and on-demand video as well as fantasy sports.


* NB: Researchers applied the same collection methodology for all the news outlets studied. It is likely that the researchers on this survey did not collect every photograph published, and, on occasion, certain photographs that could be viewed were not collectible by Pinterest. The total number of photographs studied, therefore, should be understood to be representative of those published on the news outlets, not an absolute set of all photographs published on all sites.
It is fair to note, however, that the number of photographs of either game collected for any given site is a rough indication of the commitment of that site to photographically covering that specific game.
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