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Uncertainty of Outcome or Star Quality? Television Audience Demand for English Premier League Football

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  • Babatunde Buraimo
  • Rob Simmons

Abstract

This paper presents new evidence on the relevance of uncertainty of outcome for demand for sports viewing. Using television viewing figures for eight seasons from the English Premier League, we show that uncertainty of outcome does not have the hypothesised effect on television audience demand. Separating uncertainty of outcome effects by season, the results show that, at best, uncertainty of outcome had imprecise effects on audiences in earlier seasons, but zero effects in later seasons. Television audiences have evolved to exhibit preferences for talent. We suggest that the notion of a pure sporting contest in which uncertainty of outcome matters is no longer relevant and more important is the extent to which sports teams and leagues can increase the quality of the talent on show.

Suggested Citation

  • Babatunde Buraimo & Rob Simmons, 2015. "Uncertainty of Outcome or Star Quality? Television Audience Demand for English Premier League Football," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 449-469, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:22:y:2015:i:3:p:449-469
    DOI: 10.1080/13571516.2015.1010282
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Petr A. Parshakov & Kseniya O. Baydina, 2017. "Brands or Uncertainty? An Empirical Test of the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis in Russian Football," HSE Working papers WP BRP 163/EC/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
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    8. Goller, Daniel & Krumer, Alex, 2019. "Let’s meet as usual: Do games on non-frequent days differ? Evidence from top European soccer leagues," Economics Working Paper Series 1907, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    9. Lucas M. Besters & Jan (J.C.) van Ours & Martin A. van Tuijl, 2018. "How outcome uncertainty, loss aversion and team quality affect stadium attendance in Dutch professional football," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-082/V, Tinbergen Institute.
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    11. Besters, Lucas, 2018. "Economics of professional football," Other publications TiSEM d9e6b9b7-a17b-4665-9cca-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    12. Schreyer, Dominik & Schmidt, Sascha L. & Torgler, Benno, 2016. "Against all odds? Exploring the role of game outcome uncertainty in season ticket holders’ stadium attendance demand," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 192-217.
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    15. Daam Van Reeth & Nikita Osokin, 2020. "The Impact of Hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Differences in TV Viewership Between Seasoned Football Fans and Occasional Watchers of Football Games in Russia," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 21(3), pages 256-280, April.
    16. Goller, Daniel & Krumer, Alex, 2020. "Let's meet as usual: Do games played on non-frequent days differ? Evidence from top European soccer leagues," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 286(2), pages 740-754.
    17. Rudkin, Simon & Sharma, Abhijit, 2017. "The Impact of Football Attendance on Tourist Expenditures for the United Kingdom," MPRA Paper 81427, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Dominik Schreyer & Sascha L. Schmidt & Benno Torgler, 2018. "Game Outcome Uncertainty and Television Audience Demand: New Evidence from German Football," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 19(2), pages 140-161, May.
    19. Alexander John Bond & Francesco Addesa, 2020. "Competitive Intensity, Fans’ Expectations, and Match-Day Tickets Sold in the Italian Football Serie A, 2012-2015," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 21(1), pages 20-43, January.
    20. Alexander John Bond & Francesco Addesa, 2019. "TV demand for the Italian Serie A: star power or competitive intensity?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(3), pages 2110-2116.
    21. Antoine Feuillet & Nicolas Scelles & Christophe Durand, 2018. "A winner’s curse in the bidding process for broadcasting rights in football? The cases of the French and UK markets," Post-Print hal-01935541, HAL.
    22. Babatunde Buraimo & David Forrest & Ian G. McHale & J.D. Tena, 2020. "Armchair Fans: New Insights Into The Demand For Televised Soccer," Working Papers 202020, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
    23. Alex Krumer & Michael Lechner, 2018. "Midweek Effect On Soccer Performance: Evidence From The German Bundesliga," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(1), pages 193-207, January.
    24. Besters, Lucas M. & van Ours, Jan C. & van Tuijl, Martin A., 2019. "How outcome uncertainty, loss aversion and team quality affect stadium attendance in Dutch professional football," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 117-127.

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