Does Live Broadcasting Reduce Stadium Attendance? The Case of Norwegian Football
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OriginalversjonSport, Business and Management. 2018, 8 (1), 67-81. 10.1108/SBM-11-2016-0071
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.