Unscripted Drama: Soccer Audience Response to Suspense, Surprise, and Shock

16 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020

See all articles by Babatunde Buraimo

Babatunde Buraimo

University of Liverpool - Management School (ULMS)

David Forrest

University of Liverpool - Management School (ULMS)

Ian McHale

University of Liverpool Management School

J.D. Tena

University of Liverpool Management School

Date Written: April 2020

Abstract

By modeling minute‐by‐minute television audience figures from English Premier League soccer matches, with close to 50,000 minute‐observations, we show that demand is partly driven by suspense and surprise. We also identify an additional relevant factor of appeal to audiences, namely shock, which refers to the difference between pre‐match and current game outcome probabilities. Suspense, surprise, and shock remain significant in the presence of a traditional measure of outcome uncertainty.

JEL Classification: C23, D12, L82, L83, Z20

Suggested Citation

Buraimo, Babatunde and Forrest, David and McHale, Ian and Tena, Juan de Díos, Unscripted Drama: Soccer Audience Response to Suspense, Surprise, and Shock (April 2020). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 58, Issue 2, pp. 881-896, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3597054 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12874

Babatunde Buraimo (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool - Management School (ULMS) ( email )

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZH
United Kingdom

David Forrest

University of Liverpool - Management School (ULMS) ( email )

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZH
United Kingdom

Ian McHale

University of Liverpool Management School

Juan de Díos Tena

University of Liverpool Management School

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