An Examination of Constraints and Motivators as Predictors of Sport Media Consumption Substitution Intention

Ben Larkin
Janet S. Fink
and Galen T. Trail

In 2006, researchers Pritchard and Funk explained that there has been a movement toward escalating consumption of sport through media. Although sport teams still care deeply about gate receipts and their impact on the bottom line (Gelb, 2013), the shift to media consumption has, in fact, denoted a trend indicating attendance is becoming a less critical aspect in an organization’s profitability (Pritchard & Funk, 2006). Fans’ preference to watch games/events on television was among the preeminent concerns facing sport industry practitioners as of 2012 (Luker, 2012). This concern manifested itself in the National Football League (NFL) in January 2014 when three of four first-round playoff games were in danger of being blacked out on local television due to sluggish ticket sales (Schwab, 2014). As Schwab (2014) explained, this may simply be the “most stark example that NFL fans aren’t too excited to go to games anymore” (para. 5). This topic has been covered extensively in general publications (e.g., Rovell, 2012); however, it has received scant attention in the academic literature.