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On the Edge of Your Seat: Demand for Football on Television and the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis

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Author Info

  • Kevin Alavy

    (Initiative Futures)

  • Alison Gaskell

    (Initiative Futures)

  • Stephanie Leach

    ()
    (Tanaka Business School, Imperial College)

  • Stefan Szymanski

    ()
    (Tanaka Business School, Imperial College)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the demand for English football on television and outcome uncertainty. It tests the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis by using minute-by-minute television viewership figures which avoids the problems encountered when estimating demand using match attendance. We find that although uncertainty matters, it is the progression of the match which drives viewership and as a draw looks increasingly likely, viewers are likely to switch channels. Games that end in victories have a higher average viewership than games that end in stalemates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists in its series Working Papers with number 0631.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:0631

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Keywords: competitive balance; sports leagues; football; soccer; television;

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  1. David Forrest & Robert Simmons & Babatunde Buraimo, 2005. "Outcome Uncertainty And The Couch Potato Audience," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(4), pages 641-661, 09.
  2. Kanazawa, Mark T & Funk, Jonas P, 2001. "Racial Discrimination in Professional Basketball: Evidence from Nielsen Ratings," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 599-608, October.
  3. David Peel & Dennis Thomas, 1997. "Handicaps, outcome uncertainty and attendance demand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(9), pages 567-570.
  4. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  5. Jaume Garcia & Plácido Rodríguez, 2001. "The determinants of football match attendance revisited: Empirical evidence from the Spanish Football League," Economics Working Papers 555, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Jean-Marc Falter & Christophe Perignon, 2000. "Demand for football and intramatch winning probability: an essay on the glorious uncertainty of sports," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1757-1765.
  7. William Putsis & Subrata Sen, 2000. "Should NFL blackouts be banned?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(12), pages 1495-1507.
  8. Cain, Michael & Law, David & Peel, David, 2000. "The Favourite-Longshot Bias and Market Efficiency in UK Football Betting," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(1), pages 25-36, February.
  9. David Forrest & Rob Simmons & Stefan Szymanski, 2004. "Broadcasting, Attendance and the Inefficiency of Cartels," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 243-265, 05.
  10. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Stadtmann, Georg, 1999. "Uncertainty of outcome versus reputation: empirical evidence for the First German Football Division," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-46, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Peel, David A & Thomas, Dennis A, 1988. "Outcome Uncertainty and the Demand for Football: An Analysis of Match Attendances in the English Football League," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 242-49, August.
  12. Michael Hynds & Ian Smith, 1994. "The demand for test match cricket," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(7), pages 103-106.
  13. Hausman, Jerry A & Leonard, Gregory K, 1997. "Superstars in the National Basketball Association: Economic Value and Policy," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 586-624, October.
  14. Baimbridge, Mark & Cameron, Samuel & Dawson, Peter, 1996. "Satellite Television and the Demand for Football: A Whole New Ball Game?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 43(3), pages 317-33, August.
  15. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  16. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
  17. Rodney Fort & James Quirk, 1995. "Cross-subsidization, Incentives, and Outcomes in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1265-1299, September.
  18. Peel, David A & Thomas, Dennis A, 1992. "The Demand for Football: Some Evidence on Outcome Uncertainty," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 323-31.
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Cited by:
  1. Tainsky, Scott & Kerwin, Shannon & Xu, Jie & Zhou, Yilun, 2014. "Will the real fans please remain seated? Gender and television ratings for pre-game and game broadcasts," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 190-204.
  2. B Buraimo & R Simmons, 2007. "A tale of two audiences: spectators, television viewers and outcome uncertainty in Spanish football," Working Papers 591121, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

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