Influence of radio programming on the growth of local football in Uganda: The case of Radio Simba
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This study assesses the influence of radio programming on the growth of local football in Uganda. In the introduction, the study recognizes that the relationship between mass media and sports is a long and intimate one (Belanger, 2004). The study also acknowledges that radio has had the greatest impact on sports and its audiences. However, the study is concerned that the growing interest of foreign football in Uganda has overshadowed local football. Using a case study design and mainly the qualitative research approach, the study considered 215 radio listeners in a survey, with the aim of establishing the amount of airtime allocated to football versus other programmes, the level of airtime allocated to local football in relation to foreign football and level of audience interaction and participation on sports programmes. In the findings, the study reveals that local football is shunned because radio stations do not provide enough airtime to the sport. However, it is not lucrative as much as foreign football in attracting advertisers. Local football is marred by mismanagement and internal conflicts which discourages audiences. Radio programmers also indicated that local football is not as entertaining as foreign football, making the local sport unattractive to audiences. This study recommends that football stakeholders should concentrate on promoting the game through massive investment to create trust and confidence among fans. Football associations and government should also be accountable to each other to improve the game.