The Effects of Outcome Uncertainty, Scoring, and Pregame Expectations on Nielsen Ratings for Bowl Championship Series Games

Steven Salaga, Scott Tainsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study utilizes Nielsen ratings to estimate the factors that influence viewership for Bowl Championship Series telecasts. Our modeling demonstrates increased start-of-game ratings for contests of higher absolute quality, but not of anticipated higher relative quality. Little support is generated for the notion of consumer preference for scoring. However, the relationship between outcome uncertainty and television ratings is dynamic as consumers initially prefer more certain games, but ratings increase systematically throughout a contest when the outcome of that contest becomes more uncertain. Preferences also exist for games in which actual outcomes match pregame expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-459
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Sports Economics
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 8 2015

Keywords

  • Nielsen ratings
  • scoring effects
  • television viewership
  • uncertainty of outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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