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University researchers tackle audience reaction to BEING: Liverpool FC for FOX

BEING: LiverpoolThe University of Nottingham has been working with the FOX Soccer network to help it understand the British audience’s reaction to their ground-breaking programme BEING: Liverpool.

The programme, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about Liverpool FC, was screened on Channel 5 last year, and also around the world to an estimated audience of 500 million viewers. Following the broadcasts, a team of researchers from the University’s Institute for Screen Industries Research (ISIR) undertook extensive audience research on behalf of FOX to obtain feedback from viewers of the show.

The researchers looked at over 5,000 online messages from a range of sources such as Twitter, Liverpool fan sites and websites such as the major national and regional newspapers. In addition, they sent out several hundred questionnaires and also ran focus groups of viewers.

The research was led by Dr Gianluca Sergi, Director of the Institute for Screen Industries Research at The University of Nottingham’s School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies. He said: “The research work we have done on BEING: Liverpool with FOX Soccer, demonstrates the value that the Institute for Screen Industries Research can provide to TV and film production companies and other businesses in this sector. The findings of this research will help FOX ensure that future programmes can be designed to more closely appeal to the needs of the viewers.”

The research found that viewers were particularly interested in the parts of the programme that showed the activities that fans don’t normally see, such as the day-to-day work of the manager and what goes on when players get transferred and undergo medicals.

David Nathanson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of FOX Soccer, said: “It was a great opportunity for us to work with The University of Nottingham’s Institute for Screen Industries Research on this project. BEING: Liverpool was a ground-breaking, behind-the-scenes documentary that provided fans never-before-seen footage of one of soccer’s most prolific clubs.

“The research the University provided us with will be incredibly useful in informing the development of future productions of this type, as well as the associated marketing activities and messages for a British audience.”

The Institute for Screen Industries Research (ISIR) offers a range of research and expertise for partners in industry, including mobile TV and film viewing, emerging markets, new audiences, brand identity, global production trends and film policy and culture.

Mike Carr, Director of Business Engagement and Innovation Services at the University, added: “The excellent work which Dr Sergi’s team has done with FOX is a great example of the breadth of expertise that we have here at the University that businesses are able to tap into. My advice to any business that either requires help with a particular piece of research, or perhaps needs specialist consultancy support, is to contact us in the first instance to discuss how we may be able to assist.”

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