Remote Control? The shaping of communities of tennis spectators through the BBC’s large TV screen coverage of Wimbledon | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717



In 1997, the All England Lawn Tennis Club revealed the addition of a large TV screen facing the grassy embankment opposite Court One. The placement of this screen altered the nature of the live Wimbledon event, as well as spectators’ experience of it, and in the process constructed the incline as ‘Henman Hill’. Media ecology recognizes the dynamics of culture and social groups as intricately intertwined with communication and communication technologies. Unpacking how the BBC coverage of Wimbledon transforms the experiences of spectatorship and frames relations between different types of spectators helps explain this ‘medium’, in Marshall McLuhan’s words, as ‘a complex and effective set of events which change our outlook and the posture of entire groups of people’. I argue that understanding the variety of spectator identities and practices that emerge from technosocial situations such as Henman Hill poses unique opportunities and challenges for media ecologists.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): BBC; screen; spaces; spectators; sports; Wimbledon
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