“This channel has more subs from rival fans than Arsenal fans”: Arsenal Fan TV, football fandom and banter in the new media era

Damian J. Rivers, Andrew S. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Football fan participation within the context of the English Premier League (EPL) has diversified through the rise of fan channels hosted on YouTube. As a pioneer within this participatory new media landscape, AFTV (formerly Arsenal Fan TV) is the most prominent example within the genre having amassed over one million YouTube subscribers. Drawing data from the comments posted under 36 post-match reaction fan interviews, this article analyzes the uses and functions of banter or mock impoliteness. Within the UK cultural context banter is understood as language used primarily in male-to-male bonding interactions where ego maintenance is a high interactional priority. We subsequently propose four thematic classifications of banter discourse; personal banter, legacy banter, impersonal banter and banter violation. We ask whether football fan channels such as AFTV should be seen as a source of financial income for the operators, entertainment for rival supporters or as of genuine interest and value to Arsenal fans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-885
Number of pages19
JournalSport in Society
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

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