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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2021

Bill Gerrard and Morten Kringstad

The purpose of this paper is to address the problem of designing league regulatory mechanisms given the multi-dimensionality of competitive balance and the proliferation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the problem of designing league regulatory mechanisms given the multi-dimensionality of competitive balance and the proliferation of empirical measures.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-stage approach is adopted. Firstly, a taxonomy of empirical measures of competitive balance is proposed, identifying two fundamental dimensions – win dispersion and performance persistence. Secondly, a simple two-team model of league competitive balance is used to explore the dispersion–persistence relationship. Third, correlation and regression analysis of seven empirical measures of competitive balance for the 18 best-attended top-tier domestic football leagues in Europe over the 10 seasons, 2008–2017, are used to (1) validate the proposed categorisation of empirical measures into two dimensions; and (2) investigate the nature of the dispersion–persistence relationship across leagues.

Findings

The simple model of league competitive balance implies a strong positive dispersion–persistence relationship when persistence effects increase for big-market teams relative to those for the small-market teams. However, the empirical evidence indicates that while leagues such as the Spanish La Liga exhibit a strong positive dispersion–persistence relationship, other leagues show little or no relationship, and some leagues, particularly, the English Premier League and top-tier divisions in Belgium and Netherlands, have a strong negative dispersion–persistence relationship. The key policy implication for leagues is the importance of understanding the direction and impact of dispersion and persistence effects on the demand for league products.

Originality/value

The variability in the strength and direction of the dispersion–persistence relationship across leagues is an important result that undermines the “one-size-fits-all” approach to designing league regulatory mechanisms.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 January 2018

Morten Kringstad, Harry Arne Solberg and Tor Georg Jakobsen

Attendance at matches in the smaller European football leagues is challenged by the increased number of live broadcast matches, particularly covering the biggest leagues…

1058

Abstract

Purpose

Attendance at matches in the smaller European football leagues is challenged by the increased number of live broadcast matches, particularly covering the biggest leagues. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effects of live broadcasting, match scheduling and other factors on stadium attendance in the top division of Norwegian football.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a fixed effects regression model on attendance at match levels covering the period 2005 to 2011.

Findings

The main results show two different effects. While live broadcast domestic matches on “free TV” is positively correlated to stadium attendance, the increased number of “imported” matches from the big-five leagues is a substitute. Moreover, matches played on weekdays have a lower level of attendance than weekend matches.

Practical implications

The increased number of imported live broadcast football matches from the biggest European leagues influences and widens the financial gap between the biggest and the smaller football leagues. One possible solution for reducing the substitution effect from these matches is a more efficient match schedule in the Norwegian top division in football.

Originality/value

Norway has a small population with a high interest for football. This paper measures effects on attendance in the Norwegian top division in football matches with regards to the increased number of live broadcast matches both from the domestic league and from the big five football leagues.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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