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Football on television: how has coverage of the Cup Finals in Norway changed from 1961 to 1995?

The aim of this study is two-fold: first, to investigate how the production practices of the TV coverage of the Norwegian Men’s Football Cup Final rely on journalism, drama and entertainment and, second, to analyse how the production practice has changed in the period 1961–1995. I conducted a visual analysis of 12 Cup Finals, transmitted on NRK, the Norwegian public service broadcaster, using Whannel’s triangular model. In my study, I found that there was a tendency that entertainment and journalism merged into ‘infotainment’, without disturbing the journalistic convention that formed the base of all the coverage. The dramatic convention played a minor role in the coverage. Elements from this genre increased, significantly in the 1990s when the monopoly of NRK was broken. The practice of producing the Cup Final in NRK has not followed a gradual and linear development. Rather, the production practice continually undergoes changes. The modifications and adjustments are constantly testing the legitimate limits for how the practice can balance between entertainment, journalism and drama without distressing the values of a public service broadcaster.