Do Fans Want Close Contests? A Test of the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis in the National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association claims to sell entertainment. Part of that entertainment is close, competitive contests with uncertain outcomes. However, hometown fans want the home team to win. Hence, the optimal probability that the home team wins a game, from the perspective of maximizing demand, lays somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0. Using data from individual games for the 2001-02 season, this optimal probability was estimated to be approximately 0.66. Fans want their home team to have about twice the chance to win a game as the visiting team.
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