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TV Demand for the Tour de France: The Importance of Stage Characteristics versus Outcome Uncertainty, Patriotism, and Doping


  • Daam Van Reeth

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel)


This paper analyzes TV demand for cycling in Flanders. Using data for 338 Tour de France broadcasts, average and peak TV audience per stage is estimated by an OLS regression model. A first set of independent variables measures the importance of stage scheduling and includes variables that define the stage type and date, as determined by the race organizer. A second set of variables consists of stage features out of control of the race organizer. These variables measure the importance of outcome uncertainty, patriotism, doping, and substitute activities. Our findings suggest that TV viewership of cycling is largely determined by stage characteristics. On a much smaller scale are viewing habits driven by race developments. We also find evidence of a negative impact of the release of doping news on viewership. The study supports the idea that a well-chosen race profile is crucial to maximize Tour de France TV viewership.

Suggested Citation

  • Daam Van Reeth, 2013. "TV Demand for the Tour de France: The Importance of Stage Characteristics versus Outcome Uncertainty, Patriotism, and Doping," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 8(1), pages 39-60, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:8:y:2013:i:1:p:39-60

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dietl Helmut & Duschl Tobias & Franck Egon & Lang Markus, 2012. "A Contest Model of a Professional Sports League with Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(3), pages 336-359, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wladimir Andreff, 2016. "Chapter X: The Tour de France: a success story in spite of competitive imbalance and doping," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01279855, HAL.

    More about this item


    Tour de France; road cycling; TV demand; outcome uncertainty; patriotism; doping;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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