The Organization of Professional Sports Leagues: A Comparison of European and North-American Leagues from the Perspective of Platform Organization
In this paper we compare European and North American sports leagues from the perspective of platform organization. We find that European leagues can be characterized as open, not only in the sense of promotion and relegation, but also in the sense of attenuated/dispersed property rights and free access to all market sides. North American leagues, on the other hand, are organized as closed platforms with exclusive/concentrated property rights and high entry barriers on all market sides. This difference explains why European clubs outperform their North American counterparts in terms of revenue generation, i.e. value creation, and why North American clubs are much more profitable than most European clubs. European leagues are organized as open platforms, which invite and facilitate participation from all relevant market sides. The absence of concentrated property rights and the possibility of free market entry, two aspects existent in North American leagues, limit the opportunities of value appropriation for European clubs.
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