Identifier

etd-11072010-113943

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

This study looked at sports websites to see how the variables information, humor, entertainment, community, and credibility affected sports website users’ intentions to use and re-use sports websites. Three groups of 25 and one group of 30 participants each completed a website viewing activity and corresponding survey. There were four website viewing activities (one for each group). The activities led participants on tours of ESPN.com, Deadspin.com, Football Outsiders, and Yahoo! Sports. Furthermore, the tours were designed to expose participants to the variables (as defined under disposition theory and uses and gratifications). Likewise, the corresponding survey assessed participants’ intentions to use each of the four websites based on the degrees to which they perceived each variable to be present. In addition to the surveys, the study utilized focus group discussion data as a secondary method. Five focus groups and one interviewee each answered eight open-ended questions. All answers were analyzed according to which of the variables were important to participants on sports websites. Results of the survey data showed that humor and entertainment content had the most positive effect on sports website users’ intents to use, whereas information and credibility content scored highest among the discussion participants. The community variable ranked last via both methods. The ramifications for this study are that sports websites should develop their humorous and entertaining content regarding athletes and sports figures. Website partnerships with informative and credible sites should be formed to maintain sports information links.

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Miller, Andrea

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