Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communication and Journalism



Committee Chair

Mary Lou Sheffer

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

David R. Davies

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Lindsey Maxwell

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Vanessa Murphree

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

Fei Xue

Committee Member 5 School



The streaming of live sports television channels online is changing how sports fans access live sports T.V. content. This new technology is becoming a greater challenge to traditional cable/satellite television services as Americans continue to cancel their cable services for new online streaming options. DirecTV Now, SlingTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, among others, are offering sports fans access to the most popular live national and regional sports T.V. networks online via live streaming, allowing them to bypass traditional cable. These new services provide subscribers’ access to their favorite channels anywhere and on any mobile, internet connected device.

The purpose of this study was to explore the gratifications that are obtained by sports fans from using online live streaming for sports content. With online live streaming from over-the-top (OTT) services becoming a growing alternative to cable, this study wanted to examine the gratifications obtained from using these services and if the gratifications obtained are similar or different from gratifications obtained from previous television and internet research. The uses and gratifications theory was the theoretical framework for this study.

A survey was commenced online using the Amazon M Turk platform (N = 300) to obtain data for this study. The results showed there is a significant relationship between viewer’s intentions and their use of online live streaming for sports content. Other variables examined including the convenience of use, viewing costs, perceived enjoyment, social benefits, and viewing quality may all affect their use of online streaming once the participant has decided to use these services.

Other findings showed that the television/Smart T.V. is still the main source for viewing televised sport content. In addition, the results showed the most popular televised sports are also the most popular online with the NFL, NBA, MLB, and college football, all ranking as the most streamed sports. This study included a wide range of participants’ demographics, showing there is an interest in streaming sports among a variety of demographics.



Included in

Television Commons