TV Revenue Sharing as a Coordination Device in Sports Leagues
As sports clubs jointly produce contests, they cannot determine contest quality through their private talent investments. Sports leagues therefore try to coordinate talent investments towards the profit-maximizing contest quality. In this paper I analyze how revenue sharing mechanisms may serve this goal when demand comes from hard-core club and neutral sports fans. Performance-based sharing turns out to be an inefficient sharing rule for the cartel, although it is not harmful for social welfare. This inefficient cartel behavior can be rationalized as the result of bargaining with asymmetric outside options. Data from US and European sports leagues illustrate the theoretical findings.
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