We were delighted to get back into the Journal of Sports Economics recently having had "Outcome Uncertainty and Viewer Demand for Basic Cable Boxing" accepted as part of a forthcoming special issue on the life of James (Jim) Quirk.
Our paper examines the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis and consider direct demand for professional boxing using a new dataset for basic cable broadcasts. Our analysis covers 103 broadcasts in the United States from February 2017 to February 2021 for Premier Boxing Champions (FOX) and Top Rank Boxing (ESPN).
Using a generalized linear model, we estimate a demand function for basic cable broadcasts and place specific emphasis on adopting alternative measures of outcome uncertainty. We find no evidence that increasing balance between boxers increases viewership figures on basic cable broadcasts. Consistent with pay-per-view boxing viewership, our results demonstrate that bout quality impacts demand for cable broadcasts.
Furthermore, we find no evidence of a declining viewership trend, a finding relevant to the industry given the general decrease in viewership trends for main events and pay-per-view broadcasts. Fans continue to demonstrate a preference for the welterweight division.
The full paper can be found here.