Determinants of Regional Sport Network Television Ratings in MLB, NBA, and NHL

Determinants of Regional Sport Network Television Ratings in MLB, NBA, and NHL

By
George Foster, Norman O’Reilly, Carlos Shimizu, Neal Khosla, Ryan Murray
Journal of Sports Management.
2014

This paper examines the determinants of live game Regional Sport Network (RSN) average annual ratings in three major North American professional sport leagues: Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Hockey League (NHL). A conceptual model of the determinants of club RSN ratings is constructed based on a marketing management framework. Five categories of determinants are identified: Product - Club, Product - Player, Brand - Club, Brand - Player, and Place. Data was collected over a 12 year period (1999 to 2011) for a total of 46 independent variables . The list of independent variables was reduced to 16 factors and a proxy variable for each of the factors identified. Univariate and multivariate analyses were undertaken . Strong support for the each of the five categories in the conceptual model was found for the pooled sample of all 3 leagues. Results at the individual league level revealed league differences in the relative importance of individual variables. Implications for future research and practice are presented.