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Just as newspapers, radio, and television fundamentally changed the nature of sports and how they are consumed, so too has the Internet, and perhaps even more drastically. As with any facet of the media industry, the intersection of sports and the Internet can best be understood through the lenses of technology, economics, and culture.

Technology

As the Internet began to emerge as a public platform in 1994, bandwidth and speed were extremely limited, meaning that the service was more suited to reference, storage, and databases. The early online audience was primarily male, the group that also heavily dominates sports consumption. The combination turned the Internet into a repository of sports news, lists, and discussion groups, and vendors advertising sports items for sale.

While the early days of the ...

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