Disequilibrium sports economics (Competitive imbalance and budget constraints) pages:131-150
With the addition of women's boxing, the 2012 Olympic Games in London became the first Games where women competed in every sport on the Olympic programme. The presence of parallel competitions for men and women is one of the appealing features of the Games. Many studies have therefore used the case of the Olympic Games for analysing gender balance in media coverage of sport. Most of these studies focus exclusively on the supply side of the media market by measuring how much time TV channels or how much space newspapers dedicate to the coverage of both sexes. Our study is different and original in its approach because it also uses data on TV audiences, the demand side of the market. This creates an opportunity to check for evidence of a disequilibrium between the supply of Olympic TV broadcasts (input market) on the one hand and the revealed TV demand by sports consumers (output market) on the other hand. The analysis is based on a dataset of almost 1,000 sport-specific Olympic TV broadcasts on Dutch national television, totalling about 145 hours of television. Our results show a disequilibrium situation on the Dutch TV market for Olympic sports broadcasts: while broadcasters provide significantly more coverage of male events, Dutch TV viewers clearly prefer broadcasts of women competitions over broadcasts of men competitions.