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Does certainty on the winner diminish the interest in sport competitions? The case of formula one

Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio and J Reade

Empirical Economics, 2022, vol. 63, issue 2, No 17, 1059-1079

Abstract: Abstract The literature acknowledges “Uncertainty of Outcome” (UO) as a major factor to explain the degree of interest that sporting competitions draw from fans and the general public. Uncertainty about the championship winner is crucial insofar as financial success depends on the capacity to attract potential consumers of spectacle. This paper focusses on one aspect of UO and examines to what extent reduction in the interest of followers is due to the removal of uncertainty about the world drivers’ champion in Formula One. To study how certainty on the winner undermines the degree of attention generated by the Formula One world drivers’ championship, we rely on two alternative indexes—similar although not identical—reported by Google Trends. Both of these appraisals are computed from data on users’ search intensity in Google, where weekly records are normalised on the relative amount of searches per calendar year. Thus, as dependent variables for the empirical analysis we use two measures: Google Trends News (GTN), to capture the intensity with which individuals search news articles associated; and Google Trends Web (GTW), to get a wider overview based on all kind of Internet contents. The former empirical analysis is carried out on 10 years of available data, while the latter approach estimates the models for a larger period of 14 years. Our empirical strategy includes additionally adopting indicator saturation techniques to address this issue while controlling for outliers.

Keywords: Global sports; Outcome certainty; Google Trends; Competitions’ multiple prizes; Event analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 J33 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s00181-021-02147-8

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