Studies on television sound typically begin by emphasizing that television, unlike film, relies more heavily on sounds than images and that the sound practices used in the production of television’s primary genres (including news, sports, game shows, sitcoms, commercials, etc.) are based on practices developed not for film sound but rather for radio. For example, in his 1982 book Visible Fictions John Ellis argues that television, unlike film, employs sound “to ensure a certain level of attention, to drag viewers back to looking at the set” (Ellis 1982: 128). Sound is more important for television, in other words, because it appeals to the sense of hearing rather than the voyeuristic pleasures of the cinematic gaze.
— EDITORIAL: Rethinking Theories of Television Sound