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Television demand for the Tour de France: the importance of outcome uncertainty, patriotism and doping

Listed author(s):
  • Van Reeth, Daam


    (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)

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    This paper analyzes demand for televised cycling races. Using data for 296 Tour de France broadcasts from 1997 until 2010, 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 stage date. These variables are defined ex ante by the race organiser and can therefore be controlled to influence viewing. A second set of variables consists of stage features not under the control of the race organiser. These variables measure the importance of outcome uncertainty, patriotism, doping and weather conditions. Our findings suggest that viewership of televised cycling is largely determined by stage characteristics. Only on a much smaller scale are viewing habits driven by race developments. The study supports the idea that a well-chosen profile of stages is crucial when trying to maximize Tour de France TV viewership.

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    Paper provided by Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management in its series Working Papers with number 2011/15.

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    Length: 29 page
    Date of creation: Sep 2011
    Handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:201115
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