The Role of Patriotism in Explaining TV Audience of National Team Games - Evidence from Four International Tournaments
Existing studies about the determinants of the so-called couch potato audience in sports concentrate on the quality of the sporting contest which involves both the absolute playing strength of the competing teams and the relative evenness of the competition. Regarding national team competitions, however, we expect that the TV audience should also be driven by patriotism. Analyzing the couch potato audience of all matches during the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Switzerland, we find strong evidence that the TV ratings are highly affected by the size of the groups of foreign residents affiliated to the teams playing on the field. Whereas absolute playing strength impacts on the TV ratings too, the effect of evenness of the competition is insignificant.
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