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The hard law of live: a case study on French sports channels during COVID-19

In: Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19


  • Valérie Bonnet
  • Tyler Ratts


The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the approaches of sports channels in providing relevant content to consumers and developing schedules that filled available time slots. This chapter uncovered the programming strategies of French sports channels (i.e., L'Equipe, Canal+ Sport, RMC Sport, Bein Sport, and Eurosport) by evaluating both the semantic (e.g., selection of content) and syntactic (e.g., organization of the television grid) decisions made during this unprecedented time. These two dimensions were intertwined in the choice of programming through the economic, legal, and temporal constraints that impacted scheduling. To combat the limitations from an inability to provide live broadcasting, sports channels offered unique content, including enhanced rebroadcasts and in-depth documentaries, that kept viewers engaged. The analysis highlighted how channels developed a more structured schedule during this time period in an attempt to align with other popular generalist channels and navigate the challenges of the pandemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Valérie Bonnet & Tyler Ratts, 2022. "The hard law of live: a case study on French sports channels during COVID-19," Chapters, in: Paul M. Pedersen (ed.), Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19, chapter 10, pages 113-124, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:21289_10

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