Participation and Professional Team Sports
New Horizons in the Economics of Sport series
Edited by Wladimir Andreff
Chapter 2: Participation, Spectatorship and Media Coverage in Sport: Some Initial Insights
Peter Dawson and Paul Downward INTRODUCTION Current sports policy in the UK emphasizes a symbiotic link between the hosting of major sports events and participation in sport (DCMS/Strategy Unit, 2002). Implicitly, it is maintained that viewing sports events live or via the media is the key to revealing latent demand for active participation. Such hypothesized links have not, however, been analysed in the literature, with the implication that such claims lack an evidence base. Using an econometric model, this chapter explores official data in the UK and finds robust evidence that sports participation and sports spectatorship are symbiotically linked. The chapter proceeds as follows. Section 2 briefly reviews the policy context of the current research. Section 3 reviews the literature on sports participation, and on spectating at events, live and through the media. Section 4 discusses the data and variables used in the current study. Section 5 provides details on the econometric methods employed and the results and discussion are presented in Section 6. Conclusions then follow. POLICY CONTEXT As detailed in Gratton and Taylor (2000) and Downward et al. (2009) the sports economy comprises a series of interconnected sectors that embrace professional team sports, sports events and mass participation. In the former two contexts, sport is consumed by spectators 15 M2464 - ANDREFF PRINT.indd 15 03/12/2010 14:48 16 Contemporary issues in sports economics either in a live setting, or live or recorded via the media. As is well documented in the professional team sport literature (Borland and MacDonald,...
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