The Role of Tournament Relevance for Football Matches on Free-to-Air Television

Thadeu Gasparetto and Angel Barajas

Most papers analyze the broadcast demand for a single league. However, professional football clubs participate in two or more tournaments simultaneously every season. Hence, the perception of fans may differ. This is a relevant topic, since television rights constitute the main source of revenue for professional football. The Brazilian football market is an appropriate laboratory to test it: The first division teams play two national-level tournaments, including a state-lev-el championship, and the top clubs also compete in an international championship. The dataset comprises 458 broadcast matches in Brazil from 2013 to 2015. The singularity of this sample is that all matches are broadcast by the same free-to-air television channel. Three panel data linear regressions with local team fixed effects are carried out. The results indicate differences in the broadcast demand among tournaments. Marginal effects might help television channels, leagues, and clubs find optimal broadcast rights deals.

JEL Classification: Z20