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This paper addresses the challenge of automatically extracting the highlights from sports TV broadcasts. In particular, we are interested in finding a generic method of highlights extraction, which does not require the development of models for the events that are thought to be interpreted by the users as highlights. Instead, we search for highlights in those video segments that are expected to excite the users most. It is namely realistic to assume that a highlighting event induces a steady increase in a user's excitement, as compared to other, less interesting events. We mimic the expected variations in a user's excitement by observing the temporal behavior of selected audiovisual low-level features and the editing scheme of a video. Relations between this noncontent information and the evoked excitement are drawn partly from psychophysiological research and partly from analyzing the live-video directing practice. The expected variations in a user's excitement are represented by the excitement time curve, which is, subsequently, filtered in an adaptive way to extract the highlights in the prespecified total length and in view of the preferences regarding the highlights strength: extraction can namely be performed with variable sensitivity to capture few "strong" highlights or more "less strong" ones. We evaluate and discuss the performance of our method on the case study of soccer TV broadcasts.