Sociological studies have frequently presented the sport domain as a major site for reinforcing hegemonic masculinity by creating and recreating what it means to be a man through masculine interaction.
Because sport spectatorship is how most adult men participate in sports it is imperative to examine sport spectatorship as an environment in which masculinity can be affirmed. Studies have proposed that several different media, particularly television, offer the opportunity for men to emphasize masculine ideals in sport by providing viewing pleasures for male spectators.
Though sport is readily consumed through television, one medium that has not been thoroughly investigated is the Internet, particularly fantasy sport leagues.
Since the dawning of the Information Age in the early 1990s, the Internet has become an increasingly important form of media. In particular, the great popularisation of the Internet has spawned some rather remarkable growth in the sports media domain. In their essay focusing on the dynamic nature of the sports media industry, Boyle and Haynes (2002) suggest that “new media, particularly the Internet, digital television and mobile telephony, are introducing new distribution platforms and services for the delivery of sports content” and are “transforming the way in which breaking news about sport is gathered, selected, and disseminated”.
Presently, the Internet offers online interactivity through sports chat rooms and discussion groups, exercise and sports team and online sports gambling. It might be reasonable to assume that the interactive nature of sports media thus creates another means by which males can exercise their dominance and masculinity in the sport domain. The Internet provides spectators with a fast and accurate means for generating sports knowledge. For instance, male sports fans can join chat rooms with individuals who share their desire to gain and exchange knowledge of several masculine contact sports, thus reinforcing hegemonic masculinity. One Internet based form of sport spectatorship that has increased greatly in popularity during the past few years is the phenomenon of fantasy sport leagues.