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The impact of the soccer schedule on TV viewership and stadium attendance: evidence from the Belgian Pro League

Chang Wang, Dries Goossens and Martina Vandebroek

No 588528, Working Papers of Department of Decision Sciences and Information Management, Leuven from KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Decision Sciences and Information Management, Leuven

Abstract: In the past decade, television broadcasters have been investing a huge amount of money for the Belgian Pro League broadcasting rights. These companies pursue an audience rating maximization, which depends heavily on the schedule of the league matches. At the same time, clubs try to maximize their home attendance and find themselves affected by the schedule as well. Our paper aims to capture the Belgian soccer fans’ preferences with respect to scheduling options, both for watching matches on TV and in the stadium. We carried out a discrete choice experiment using an online survey questionnaire distributed on a national scale. The choice sets are based on three match characteristics: month, kickoff time, and quality of the opponent. The first part of this survey concerns television broadcasting aspects. The second part includes questions about stadium attendance. The choice data is first analyzed with a conditional logit model which assumes homogenous preferences. Then a mixed logit model is fit to model the heterogeneity among the fans. The estimates are used to calculate the expected utility of watching a Belgian Pro League match for every possible setting, either on TV or in the stadium. These predictions are validated in terms of the real audience rating and home attendance data. Our results can be used to improve the scheduling process of the Belgian Pro League in order to persuade more fans to watch the matches on TV or in a stadium.

Keywords: Audience ratings; Belgian soccer; Conditional logit model; Discrete choice experiment; Mixed logit model; Schedule; Stadium attendance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-dcm, nep-mkt, nep-spo and nep-upt
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Published in FEB Research Report KBI_1710

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