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The Importance of Suspense and Surprise in Entertainment Demand: Evidence from Wimbledon

Author

Listed:
  • Paolo Bizzozero

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Raphael Flepp

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Egon Franck

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

Abstract

This paper empirically examines how suspense and surprise affect the demand for entertainment. We use a tennis tournament, the Wimbledon Championships, as a natural laboratory. This setting allows us to both operationalize suspense and surprise by using the audience's beliefs regarding the outcome of the match and observe the demand for live entertainment using TV audience figures. Our match fixed effects estimates of 8,563 minute-by-minute observations from 80 men's singles matches between 2009 and 2014 show that both suspense and surprise are drivers of media entertainment demand. In general, surprise seems to be more important in this regard than suspense, and both factors matter more during a match's later moments. We discuss important implications for the design of entertainment content to maximize entertainment demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Bizzozero & Raphael Flepp & Egon Franck, 2016. "The Importance of Suspense and Surprise in Entertainment Demand: Evidence from Wimbledon," Working Papers 357, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zrh:wpaper:357
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Scarf, Phil & Parma, Rishikesh & McHale, Ian, 2019. "On outcome uncertainty and scoring rates in sport: The case of international rugby union," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 273(2), pages 721-730.
    2. Russell S. Sobel & Reagan N. Sobel & Douglas M. Walker & Peter T. Calcagno, 2019. "How Effective Are Expert Tv Hosts At Saving Failing Businesses?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 9-24, January.
    3. Ge, Qi, 2018. "Sports sentiment and tipping behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 95-113.
    4. Egon Franck, 2018. "European Club Football after “Five Treatments” with Financial Fair Play—Time for an Assessment," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-19, December.
    5. Martín González Eiras & Nikolaj A. Harmon & Martín Rossi, 2017. "Fundamentals and Optimal Institutions: The case of US sports leagues," Working Papers 128, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jan 2017.
    6. Philippe Meier & Maximilian Rüdisser & Raphael Flepp & Egon Franck, 2019. "Investigating the conditions for psychological momentum in the field: Evidence from men’s professional tennis," Working Papers 383, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Suspense; Surprise; Entertainment; TV Audience; Betting Odds; Tennis;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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