Economists aren’t known for getting predictions right. Nevertheless, we keep trying.
My latest prediction – which was revealed in an article by Ron Dicker at Huffington Post – was that television ratings for NBA games this Christmas would exceed the ratings seen for games played on Christmas last year. This prediction — made a few weeks ago — was motivated by the research I published with Martin Schmidt on the impact labor disputes have on attendance. As we noted in The Wages of Wins, fans may say during a labor dispute that they will hold a grudge, but the data makes it clear that this is an empty threat. Although this research was about attendance, I predicted we would see a similar story with respect to TV ratings. And as I revealed today in my latest at Freakonomics…. well, go read the post.
I will add this bit of information. In the 33 days since the NBA lockout ended, we have had more than 90,000 page views at the Wages of Wins Journal (according to WordPress). From November 26 to December 28 of 2010 (or last year at this time), this blog only had about 53,000 page views. This is somewhat surprising, since NBA games were actually being played for this entire time period in 2010. But one suspects that fans became very interested in the NBA once the lockout ended.
Then again… last year the primary writer in this forum was me. And this year, other people are doing almost all the writing. So maybe this all simply reflects a change in the talent level in this forum :)