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Are French Football Fans Sensitive to Outcome Uncertainty

Abstract : The idea that competitive balance increases the utility of fans, and therefore their spending and the revenue of professional clubs, lies at the heart of sports economics in general and the economics of football in particular. This notion of competitive balance is often invoked to explain the decisions of professional leagues to change the rules of competitions or the distribution of TV rights. However, the empirical literature shows that the relationship between competitive balance and fan demand is far from obvious. In this paper, we examine the idea of competitive balance as perceived by football fans. In the case of Ligue 1, it is mainly explained by medium-and long-term uncertainty, while in the case of the Champions League it is more a matter of long-term suspense. But uncertainty over the outcome is far from being the only factor explaining the demand for football since around 30% of fans report that they would always be willing to attend or watch games even in the hypothetical case that there is no suspense left. JEL Classification: D12, L83
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Luc Arrondel, Richard Duhautois. Are French Football Fans Sensitive to Outcome Uncertainty. Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, INSEE, 2020, pp.5-26. ⟨10.24187/ecostat.2019.513.2001⟩. ⟨hal-02870529⟩

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