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Optimal gate revenue sharing in sports leagues


  • Thomas Peeters

    () (University of Antwerp
    Flanders Research Foundation)


Sports leagues constitute one of the few examples of legally operating cartels. In this paper I examine how gate revenue sharing may serve to coordinate talent investmentswithin these cartels. I show that sharing revenues has the potential to raise cartel profits, because it decreases the incentive to invest in playing talent. Leagues consisting of teams with heterogeneous local markets should share less revenues to maximize profits, whereas homogeneous teams should share more.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Peeters, 2011. "Optimal gate revenue sharing in sports leagues," Working Papers 1122, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:1122

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scott E. Atkinson & Linda R. Stanley & John Tschirhart, 1988. "Revenue Sharing as an Incentive in an Agency Problem: An example from the National Football League," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 27-43, Spring.
    2. Peeters, Thomas, 2012. "Media revenue sharing as a coordination device in sports leagues," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 153-163.
    3. Stefan Szymanski & Stefan KÈsenne, 2004. "Competitive balance and gate revenue sharing in team sports," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 165-177, March.
    4. Eberhard Feess & Frank Stähler, 2009. "Revenue Sharing In Professional Sports Leagues," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(2), pages 255-265, May.
    5. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Markets: Cartel Behavior and Amateurism in College Sports," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 209-226, Winter.
    6. Amy Farmer & Paul Pecorino, 2010. "Is the Coach Paid too Much?: Coaching Salaries and the NCAA Cartel," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 841-862, September.
    7. Palomino, Frederic & Sakovics, Jozsef, 2004. "Inter-league competition for talent vs. competitive balance," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 783-797, June.
    8. Szymanski, Stefan, 2001. "Income Inequality, Competitive Balance and the Attractiveness of Team Sports: Some Evidence and a Natural Experiment from English Soccer," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(469), pages 69-84, February.
    9. Rodney Fort & James Quirk, 1995. "Cross-subsidization, Incentives, and Outcomes in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1265-1299, September.
    10. Stephen T. Easton & Duane W. Rockerbie, 2005. "Revenue Sharing, Conjectures, and Scarce Talent in a Sports League Model," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 6(4), pages 359-378, November.
    11. David Forrest & Robert Simmons & Babatunde Buraimo, 2005. "Outcome Uncertainty And The Couch Potato Audience," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(4), pages 641-661, September.
    12. El-Hodiri, Mohamed & Quirk, James, 1971. "An Economic Model of a Professional Sports League," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1302-1319, Nov.-Dec..
    13. Donald G. Ferguson & J. C. H. Jones & Kenneth G. Stewart, 2000. "Competition Within A Cartel: League Conduct And Team Conduct In The Market For Baseball Player Services," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 422-430, August.
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    More about this item


    contests; contest success functions; sports;

    JEL classification:

    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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