Does televising sports make people less likely to go to the event?
This paper examines the impact of live television coverage on attendance at Scottish Premier League soccer matches during the 2002—2003 season. The authors exploit a rich data set which distinguishes match-day attendance into three groups: season ticket holders, pay-at-the-gate home team supporters, and pay-at-the-gate visiting team supporters. This examination of these categories is the first study of its kind. The results indicate matches broadcast live reduce pay-at-the-gate home team supporters by 30%. These results suggest that league administrators and club owners must consider the impact on clubs’ traditional supporters when negotiating future broadcasting rights.
Source: “Does Television Crowd Out Spectators? New Evidence From the Scottish Premier League” from Journal of Sports Economics