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A tale of two audiences: Spectators, television viewers and outcome uncertainty in Spanish football

  • Buraimo, Babatunde
  • Simmons, Rob

This paper tests for the impact of match outcome uncertainty on two types of audience for Spanish football, fans at the stadium and television viewers. We find that fans inside the stadium prefer games that are less and not more likely to finish with a close score. This is contrary to much theoretical literature in sports economics which argues that fans prefer close contests and imposes this assumption in formal modelling. We also find that television viewers prefer close contests to more predictable contests. The different preferences of fans inside the stadium and television viewers need to be reconciled by the league when considering the effectiveness of policies to redistribute resources amongst teams in the league. We use our empirical model to consider how this tension might be resolved so as to maximise total audience and total league revenues.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economics and Business.

Volume (Year): 61 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 326-338

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jebusi:v:61:y::i:4:p:326-338
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconbus

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  1. Kevin Alavy & Alison Gaskell & Stephanie Leach & Stefan Szymanski, 2006. "On the Edge of Your Seat: Demand for Football on Television and the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis," Working Papers 0631, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
  2. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Roger G. Noll, 2007. "Broadcasting and Team Sports," Discussion Papers 06-016, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. David Forrest & Robert Simmons, 2008. "Sentiment in the betting market on Spanish football," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 119-126.
  6. 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.
  7. SZYMANSKI, Stefan & KÉSENNE, Stefan, 2003. "Competitive balance and gate revenue sharing in team sports," Working Papers 2003003, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  8. Daniel, Rascher & John Paul, Solmes, 2007. "Do Fans Want Close Contests? A Test of the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis in the National Basketball Association," MPRA Paper 25829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. 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.
  10. Bruce Morley & Dennis Thomas, 2007. "Attendance demand and core support: evidence from limited-overs cricket," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(16), pages 2085-2097.
  11. David Peel & Dennis Thomas, 1996. "Attendance demand: an investigation of repeat fixtures," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(6), pages 391-394.
  12. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
  13. 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.
  14. Babatunde Buraimo, 2008. "Stadium attendance and television audience demand in English league football," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(6), pages 513-523.
  15. 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.
  16. Paul, Rodney J. & Weinbach, Andrew P., 2007. "The uncertainty of outcome and scoring effects on Nielsen ratings for Monday Night Football," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 199-211.
  17. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521517140 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. David Peel & Dennis Thomas, 1997. "Handicaps, outcome uncertainty and attendance demand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(9), pages 567-570.
  19. Babatunde Buraimo & Rob Simmons & Stefan Szymanski, 2006. "English Football," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 7(1), pages 29-46, February.
  20. 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.
  21. Jaume Garcia & Placido Rodriguez, 2002. "The Determinants of Football Match Attendance Revisited: Empirical Evidence from the Spanish Football League," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(1), pages 18-38, February.
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