Simmons, R and Buraimo, B (2009) A tale of two audiences: spectators, television viewers and outcome uncertainty in Spanish football. Journal of Economics and Business, 61 (4). 326–338. ISSN 0148-6195
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This paper tests for the impact of match outcome uncertainty on two types of audience for Spanish football, fans at the stadium and television viewers. We find that fans inside the stadium prefer games that are less and not more likely to finish with a close score. This is contrary to much theoretical literature in sports economics which argues that fans prefer close contests and imposes this assumption in formal modelling. We also find that television viewers prefer close contests to more predictable contests. The different preferences of fans inside the stadium and television viewers need to be reconciled by the league when considering the effectiveness of policies to redistribute resources amongst teams in the league. We use our empirical model to consider how this tension might be resolved so as to maximise total audience and total league revenues.
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