This article reports on empirical data from Norway which indicates that popular sports contests are also popular TV programmes. Individual sports, such as biathlon and cross-country skiing headed the popularity list, while football and ski-jumping came joint third. However, although football (only) came third, a higher proportion of football fans were willing to pay for watching it on TV than fans of other sports. This can explain why football has been the most successful sport pay-TV in Europe. Those interested in football were more interested in cultivating their favourite teams/athletes than fans of other sports. The analysis also indicates that the uncertainty of outcome is not as important for peoples’ interest in sport as the literature in sport economics has argued.
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