31 July 2012

Non-Olympic Post

The tables below are related peices of information. The first indicates that Brazilian teams do not make much money from putting butts in seats. If, for example, a team's attendance figures dropped in half for a season, this would only mean a 5.5% loss in revenue for the year. This could be easily compensated for by selling a couple of players or penning a new sponsorship contract. This is bad news for fans, as the second table shows

 Brazilian club revenue streams - 2010

Source of income
Ticket sales
Sponsors and advertising
Other receipts (i.e. replica sales)
Member dues and amateur sports
Sale / transfer of players
Source: Cadernos FGV Projetos, Junho 2010, Ano 5, numero 13, issn 1984-4883

This table shows the rapid decrease in attendances and the staggering rise in average ticket prices over the last five years, the only for which data are available. The perverse influence of television on Brazilian football means that most teams play games on Wednesday nights at 9:50, after the tele-novelas. There is no special transportation scheme, public transportation stops at midnight and all fans are treated like criminals, as if they are waiting for the right moment to offer their fellow fans a Molotov cocktail. This seemlingly deliberate elimiation of fans has been more than compensated for by an increase in profits. The math is simple, charge way more for fewer people, price out your "undesireables" and allow the clubs to pay off the torcidas organizadas to provide the "show" which the television networks will strategically shoot to make it appear as if the stadium is full. This is a years' long process of seperating the people from the people's game. Does anyone think this will improve with the World Cup?

 Average attendance at football matches – Campeonato Brasileiro, Serie A, 2007-2011

total paying public
average paying public
gate receipts(R$)
average ticket (R$)
% Change
Fonte: http://www.cbf.com.br/competicoes/campeonato-brasileiro/


Anonymous said...

Sad to see Brazil getting up to speed with Europe's political economy of football since the 1990s. The global game is being suffocated by this emphasis on smaller but wealthier audiences who stay home to watch games on TV or online rather than go to the stadium. Privatization, gentrification, dehumanization. But we still play the game.

Peter Alegi said...

Great essay on the topic I discussed above is: Richard Giulianotti, “Playing an Aerial Game: The New Political Economy of Soccer,” in J. Nauright and K. S Schimmel, eds., The Political Economy of Sport (2005), pp. 19-37.

Christopher Gaffney said...

thanks for the article suggestion Peter. It is indeed sad and twisted that Brazilian football is being transformed into an object of passive consumption. If there were only enough public spaces for us to play in wihthout having to pay! Viva o estado neo-liberal!!!


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