Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Competitive Balance and Match Attendance in European Rugby Union Leagues
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2012-10) ; ;
    The paper analyses the impact of the relatively belated move to professionalism in Rugby Union. We use data on match attendance for 3,667 fixtures in European club Rugby over 15 seasons to estimate the effect of competitive balance on attendance. We find that (short- and medium-term) competitive balance has a large and statistically significant effect. However, this effect is smaller in magnitude than the effect brought about by the other aspects of the fixture with the strength of the home team being the single most important influence on attendances.
      1033
  • Publication
    Competitive Balance: Results of Two Natural Experiments from Rugby Union
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2014-09) ; ;
    The paper presents results from two natural experiments on the impact of revenue sharing and salary caps on competitive balance in sports leagues arising from the introduction of professionalism in Rugby Union in 1995. The first involves the English Premiership, which traditionally applied a binding salary cap, and the French Top 14, which only introduced a (non-binding) salary cap relatively recently, while the Premiership also has a higher level of revenue sharing than its French counterpart. The second involves French rugby and soccer as the French soccer league is generally recognised as having a more even distribution of revenue and greater competitive balance than other major European soccer leagues. We find short- and long-run competitive balance is higher in the Premiership, than in the Top 14, while French soccer appears more evenly balanced than rugby. Unlike soccer, balance within and between leagues in rugby has not been negatively affected by European competitions. This could change as the Anglo-French teams’ share of European competition revenues is set to increase from 2014/15 while broadcast revenues for both leagues are also set to increase substantially.
      508
  • Publication
    Analysing Match Attendance in the European Rugby Cup
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2014-09) ; ;
    Using data from 1,226 matches played over 18 seasons, we analyse match attendances in the group stages of the European Rugby Cup (ERC). We find that short-run (match) uncertainty had little effect on attendances. This finding is significant as the ERC has been replaced by a new competition which may be more unbalanced due to differences in the distribution of revenue between the participating teams. Medium-term uncertainty, i.e. the possibility of the home team reaching the knock-out stages, had a significant impact on attendances. Measures designed to make matches more attractive, e.g. bonus points for high scoring, had little effect.
      288
  • Publication
    Analysing Determinants of Match Attendance in the European Rugby Cup
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2012-10) ; ;
    The economic literature on professional sports leagues suggests supporters’ utility depends on uncertainty of outcome (competitive balance) and the quality of play. Unlike soccer, where the Champions League is dominated by teams from larger countries, our analysis indicates that the ERC exhibits high degrees of both dynamic and inter-league competitive balance. Using data from 1,096 matches played over 17 seasons, we analyse match attendances in the pool stages of the European Rugby Cup (ERC), a competition that involves teams from the three main European rugby leagues. The results indicate that the quality of the home team is the main determinant of match attendances, although a strong visiting team also raises attendances. Medium-term (seasonal) uncertainty, which has received less attention in the literature, appears far more important than short-run (match) uncertainty. Measures designed to make matches more attractive, e.g. bonus points for high scoring, appear to have had little effect on attendances.
      626
  • Publication
    Late conversion : the impact of professionalism on European rugby union
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2011-09-07) ; ;
    Rugby union only went professional in 1995, much later than other major team sports. League structures and arrangements regarding revenue sharing and salary caps differ between the three main European leagues. We consider the impact of these differences on competitive balance. In addition, unlike soccer, rugby does not require leagues to be organised along national lines, which has enabled the smaller rugby playing countries to establish a joint league. This has prevented a migration of all the best players to larger country leagues as has happened in soccer and resulted in a greater degree of competitive balance in European rugby competitions.
      473