Objectives: I sought to identify what kinds of promotion for alcohol and tobacco products are found in televised sports programming, as well as how frequently they occur. I compared my findings with data from 5 and 10 years earlier to examine the effects of the Master Settlement Agreement and detect industry trends. Method. A content analysis of more than 83 hours of televised sports programming from 2000 through 2002 was conducted. Composite week sampling was used to ensure results were representative of the overall population of television sports programs. Programs were examined for traditional advertising (commercials) and nontraditional advertising (stadium signs, announcer voiceovers, etc.).
Results: Rates of certain types of alcohol advertising have decreased, but what remains is strategically chosen to increase the likelihood of audience exposure. Despite the Master Settlement Agreement, tobacco advertising remains prevalent in many sports. A new trend of placing alcohol and tobacco brand names in commercials for other products is evident.
Conclusions: Alcohol and tobacco marketers appear able to cleverly adapt to advertising challenges, such as digital video recorders and legislation. Alcohol and tobacco brands remain visible on sports programming.