Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 29–43 | Cite as

How Success and Uncertainty Compel Interest in Related Goods: Playoff Probability and Out-of-Market Television Viewership in the National Football League

  • Scott Tainsky
  • Jie Xu
  • Brian M. Mills
  • Steven Salaga


Professional sports league franchises are both on-field competitors and business partners. In this paper, we examine whether local franchise characteristics are associated with the consumption of goods that are produced by other franchises within the same league. Specifically, we investigate how uncertainty over whether the local market team reaches the postseason affects interest in out-of-market National Football League broadcasts. We find that consumers possess a conditional interest in other league contests depending on the degree to which the local franchise is in the race to reach the playoffs. This effect increases at a diminishing rate and reaches a maximum when local franchise playoff probability is approximately 60 %.


Demand National Football League Postseason uncertainty Television Media 



The authors wish to thank (without implicating) Craig Depken II and Brad Humphreys for their helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Tainsky
    • 1
  • Jie Xu
    • 1
  • Brian M. Mills
    • 2
  • Steven Salaga
    • 3
  1. 1.University of IllinoisChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport ManagementUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Division of Sport ManagementTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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