Researchers tackle audience reaction to BEING: Liverpool for FOX

06 Feb 2013 14:43:27.703

PA 38/13

The 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.

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

Informing future programme design

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. 

Unique insights into football
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.

A breadth of expertise

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.”

For more information about the Institute for Screen Industries Research, contact Gianluca Sergi at or visit

To further details about the University’s services for businesses, visit


More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 823 2184,; or Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092.

Notes to editors: 

The BEING: Liverpool research team
The University of Nottingham team which undertook the BEING: Liverpool audience research consisted of Elizabeth Evans, Roberta Pearson, Cathy Johnson, Paul McDonald, Paul Grainge and Gianluca Sergi.

About The University of Nottingham 
The University of Nottingham has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World’s Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Story credits

For more information about the BEING: Liverpool research project and the work of the Institute for Screen Industries Research, contact Dr. Gianluca Sergi at or telephone +44 (0)115 84 67466
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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