Experiences of Autonomy, Competency and Relatedness
The current article presents a qualitative study of Danish television viewer’s reception of Danish handball transmissions. The overall aim of the study has been to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of televised sport as a specific kind of television entertainment. The analysis shows that, due to the dramaturgic structure of handball transmissions, viewers consider such transmissions particularly reliable and effective sources of entertainment. The transmissions’ entertainment value derives from their specific ability to give the viewers a complex experience of feeling autonomous and competent when mastering the game and in relation to others. The study shows that entertainment concerns both affective involvement and identity formation, as social and cultural meaning seem to be at the root of involvement. Even though both men and women find great joy in the transmissions, their viewing is embedded in quite diverse patterns regarding additional media use. This points to gendered differences regarding how the entertaining experience is basically received and the qualities sought and pursued in the transmissions.