2016 Rio Summer Olympics and the Transmedia Journalism of Planned Events

2016 Rio Summer Olympics and the Transmedia Journalism of Planned Events

Renira Rampazzo Gambarato (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia), Geane C. Alzamora (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil) and Lorena Peret Teixeira Tárcia (University Center of Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3781-6.ch008

Abstract

The news coverage of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Brazil encompassed multiple media platforms and the flow of information in the intersection between mass media (especially television) and social media (especially Snapchat and Instagram). The 2016 Rio Olympics was the Games of Snapchat stories and filters along with Instagram stories for news coverage. This chapter aims to investigate how transmedia features are structured and implemented in the news coverage of the 2016 Olympics by the official Brazilian broadcaster, Globo Network. The theoretical framework focuses on transmedia journalism of planned events, and the methodology is based on the analytical model for transmedia news coverage of planned events developed by Gambarato and Tárcia (2017). The research findings indicate that the coverage presented systematic content expanded throughout various media platforms (a core characteristic of transmedia journalism) but involved limited mechanisms of audience engagement, particularly in terms of citizen participation.
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Introduction

This chapter aims to investigate how transmedia features are structured and implemented in the news coverage of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics by the official Brazilian broadcaster, Globo Network. Globo Network (Rede Globo, in Portuguese), the largest Brazilian network, bought the broadcasting rights for the Olympic Games until 2032. The broadcaster has the non-exclusive right to transmit the Games on television and has the exclusive rights for cable television, the Internet, and mobile phones (UOL, 2015). The International Olympic Committee (IOC) owns the global broadcast rights to the Olympics, including broadcasts on television, radio, mobile, and Internet platforms. The Brazilian broadcaster, which invested in important technological advancements (such as holographic projections and online live-streaming) for the transmedia coverage of the 2014 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, expanded its investment for the largest and most comprehensive sports coverage in the network’s history (Rede Globo, 2016c). During the Rio Games, Globo Network (in partnership with the Japanese broadcasting organization NHK) broadcasted live in the ultra-high-definition 8K format, using dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology (Lobo, 2016). Other innovations, as a strategic move to gain market share and boost Globo Network businesses domestically and internationally, included sports commentators’ use of augmented reality and, especially, images in high-definition on the network’s Internet streaming service, Globo Play.

It’s not just Brazilian athletes who are under pressure to perform well at the first Olympic Games to be hosted by their country. Brazil’s Grupo Globo, Latin America’s biggest television network, will also be gunning for gold in Rio de Janeiro as its rolls out a battery of state-of-the-art TV technology. Relaying images of key Olympic moments in 8K and using virtual reality to spice up commentaries are among the novelties Globo plans to roll out. But more than just a special feature for the Games, the cutting-edge visuals are crucial components in Globo’s longer-term strategy to retain and grow audiences and advertisers as the fight for them gets ever fiercer. (Hopewell, 2016, para. 2)

As a means of building this transmedia journalism case study, the theoretical framework of the chapter focuses on transmedia journalism (Moloney, 2011; Renó, 2014; Renó & Flores, 2012) of planned events (Dayan & Katz, 1992; Gambarato, Alzamora, & Tárcia, 2016; Gambarato & Tárcia, 2017; Getz, 2012; Hepp & Couldry, 2010). The methodology used in this research is based on the analytical model for transmedia news coverage of planned events developed by Gambarato and Tárcia (2017). The research findings indicate that the coverage presented systematic content expanded throughout various media platforms (a core characteristic of transmedia journalism) but involved limited mechanisms of audience engagement, particularly in terms of citizen participation. Interaction prevailed to the detriment of audience participation.

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