Title: Global hierarchy of team-sport leagues based on internet searches and revenues: Europe vs. America

Authors: Alice Aguiar-Noury; Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio

Addresses: Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Carrer de la Immaculada, 22, Barcelona 08017, Spain ' Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Carrer de la Immaculada, 22, Barcelona 08017, Spain

Abstract: This paper contributes to the understanding of the modern sports industry in an international context. Two alternative approaches are adopted for establishing the hierarchy of team-sport leagues globally and for researching to what extent professional European football might have gained dominance relative to the major North American sports leagues. We first study the evolving economic situation of the main European and American sport leagues, in terms of both total revenues and broadcasting revenues. Then, we adopt an approach based on 'Google Trends' records to rank team-sport leagues according to the relative interest shown by the fans. We interpret the evolution over time as changes in the degree of support given to the Top-10 professional sports leagues worldwide. Finally, we estimate pooled OLS and GLS random effects models to examine the empirical relationship between leagues' revenues and internet searches to understand the prospects of the leagues concerning their popularity and potential revenues.

Keywords: hierarchy of sport leagues; annual revenues; internet searches; media visibility; internationalisation of European football.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2021.113254

European Journal of International Management, 2021 Vol.15 No.2/3, pp.283 - 313

Received: 19 Dec 2019
Accepted: 03 Feb 2020

Published online: 30 Jan 2021 *

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