IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Program substitutability in network television: Evidence from Argentina


  • Carare, Octavian
  • Zentner, Alejandro


Inference about television program substitutability from the consumer perspective is complicated by unobserved shocks to viewership and endogenous programming choices by television networks. High-frequency changes in program scheduling are commonplace in Argentina. This paper uses this variation in program scheduling as an instrumental variable in order to measure the degree of substitution across the programs broadcast by the five network television stations in a large Argentinean market. In line with the results of prior studies, the results of this paper show evidence of substantial business stealing in network television: increases in the ratings of a station primarily decrease the ratings of other stations. However, the estimates also show that the increases in ratings attributable to new viewers entering the market range between 3 and 5 percentage points for each 10-point increase in a channel’s viewership. The size of this market expansion effect is significantly larger than that found by prior studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Carare, Octavian & Zentner, Alejandro, 2012. "Program substitutability in network television: Evidence from Argentina," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 145-160.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:24:y:2012:i:2:p:145-160
    DOI: 10.1016/j.infoecopol.2012.02.004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 2007. "The Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibrium of the Television News Scheduling Game," IDEI Working Papers 487, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    2. Jack H. Beebe, 1977. "Institutional Structure and Program Choices in Television Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 15-37.
    3. Kenneth C. Wilbur, 2008. "A Two-Sided, Empirical Model of Television Advertising and Viewing Markets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(3), pages 356-378, 05-06.
    4. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1999. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Radio Broadcasting," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 397-420, Autumn.
    5. George, Lisa, 2007. "What's fit to print: The effect of ownership concentration on product variety in daily newspaper markets," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 285-303, October.
    6. Jean J. Gabszewicz & Didier Laussel & Nathalie Sonnac, 2004. "Programming and Advertising Competition in the Broadcasting Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 657-669, December.
    7. Michael Spence & Bruce Owen, 1977. "Television Programming, Monopolistic Competition, and Welfare," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 103-126.
    8. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2001. "Do Mergers Increase Product Variety? Evidence from Radio Broadcasting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1009-1025.
    9. Peter O. Steiner, 1952. "Program Patterns and Preferences, and the Workability of Competition in Radio Broadcasting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 194-223.
    10. Berry, Steven T. & Waldfogel, Joel, 1999. "Public radio in the United States: does it correct market failure or cannibalize commercial stations?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 189-211, February.
    11. Cancian, Maria & Bills, Angela & Bergstrom, Theodore, 1995. "Hotelling Location Problems with Directional Constraints: An Application to Television News Scheduling," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 121-124, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Nakamura, Akihiro & Shishikura, Manabu & Kasuga, Norihiro & Jitsuzumi, Toshiya & Koguchi, Teppei, 2017. "Demand Analysis for Real-Time and Time-Shifted Viewing in the Japanese TV Market," 14th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Kyoto 2017: Mapping ICT into Transformation for the Next Information Society 168521, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).

    More about this item


    Television; Substitution; Estimation; Instrumental variables;

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:24:y:2012:i:2:p:145-160. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.