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How Social Media Engagement Leads to Sports Channel Loyalty

A paper in the journal Computers in Human Behavior looks at  users’ social media behavior during live events and explores whether different levels of engagement lead to channel loyalty. The research used a sample South Korean national panel data during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. 

The authors confirm three levels of engagement: functional, emotional, and communal, and find that the highest level of engagement — communal — “directly associated with channel loyalty, while the emotional engagement had an indirect effect on channel loyalty via channel commitment. Functional engagement also led to increased perceptions of social presence.”

The results of the study indicate that “the community-building effort of content providers, like sports television channels, could give them great return on investment… Viewers need to first possess a certain level of emotional engagement with the broadcasting network or cable channel to be a loyal viewer of the sports channel. This emotional engagement, as other researchers have revealed, is the necessary condition to have more bonding relationships with the channel, which we view as channel commitment.”

Read the abstract.

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