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From 2011/12 season onwards, Spanish football authorities introduced noon kickoffs on Sunday in La Liga. This move was targeted at the Asian audience to compete with other leagues who play at the same time, mainly English Premier League. At the start, the move was taken with much contempt by La Liga clubs who are used to playing late in the evening with 8PM and 10PM being the prime time for key clashes. Obviously the move is designed to get most out of the TV revenues as more people will watch the games which they otherwise aren’t able to due to the time difference.
At the time of writing, there have been 28 games which have kicked off at noon. In these 28 games, 13 have been home wins, 6 have been draws while 9 have been away wins.
- Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano have played the maximum games at noon while FC Barcelona, Malaga and Racing Santander have played none.
- 789,920 fans have attended the noon kick off. An average of 28,211.
- Absence of FC Barcelona in the list makes a massive difference. Camp Nou contributes the most to La Liga in terms of attendance. They’ve led in terms of attendance since the 2008/09. Absence of Barcelona also makes a difference to the TV revenue as Barcelona are one of the top two and highly followed in Asia. Also in terms of TV revenue, Qatari owned Malaga would be ideal candidates for noon kick off so as to target the middle eastern audience.
- Noon kick-offs are helping the clubs overall as well in drawing attendance. The average attendance in 2010/11 and 2011/12 for teams who have hosted the noon kick off was 26,668 and 26,086 respectively. The average attendance during noon kick off has been 28,211. Therefore, noon games are attended 7.5% higher than other games this season and 5.46% higher than last season.
There is subjectivity involved in the teams involved as far as the noon games are concerned but if these numbers are taken as a slight indication then one can notice how noon kickoffs haven’t been a failure as was predicted earlier. On the contrary, they’ve been well attended and appreciated by the fans. There is no TV revenue data to support the case but as far as the attendance are concerned, the idea has been a hit.
You can get all the numbers here-
[All numbers before Malaga v Racing Santander on 9 April, 2012. Source: ESPN Soccernet]