Passive and Active Attention to Baseball Telecasts: Implications for Content (Re-)Design

27 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2021 Last revised: 24 Mar 2021

See all articles by Xiao Liu

Xiao Liu

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Matthew Shum

California Institute of Technology

Kosuke Uetake

Yale School of Management

Date Written: October 23, 2020

Abstract

Do TV program features affect consumer viewing and attention behaviors differently? How should a planner design TV contents to increase viewer engagement to programs and commercials? Using unique individual-level data containing high-frequency logs which detail whether viewers are {\em passively} or {\em actively} paying attention while watching TV, we study how gameplay features, including suspense and surprise, influence viewers' attention levels. Overall, only a small fraction of viewers are actively paying attention, and viewers value suspense over surprise. Viewers pay less attention during commercials, but they do not walk away from the TV or "zap" to another station.
These results have implications for content design, as reshuffling commercials to the most suspenseful moments in the game attracts more attention. While shortening baseball games has ambiguous effects on attention, a "mercy rule" (which selectively shortens less competitive games) has sizeable effects on attention.

Keywords: Attention, Suspense, Surprise, Contents Design

Suggested Citation

Liu, Xiao and Shum, Matthew and Uetake, Kosuke, Passive and Active Attention to Baseball Telecasts: Implications for Content (Re-)Design (October 23, 2020). NYU Stern School of Business Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3717894 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3717894

Xiao Liu

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

Suite 9-160
New York, NY
United States

Matthew Shum

California Institute of Technology ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

Kosuke Uetake (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
280
Abstract Views
1,285
rank
149,314
PlumX Metrics