Pretty Players, Please
Fox News reports that during the early rounds at Wimbledon, a lot of second-level, but good-looking female tennis players have been on Center Court, while some of the stars have been relegated to side courts.
An event organizer noted, “It’s not a coincidence that those (on Center Court) are attractive.”
Not at all. The price of TV rights is based on viewership, so the sponsors want to maximize it: “Our preference would always be a Brit or a babe, as this always delivers high viewing figures.”
The product sold is a combination of good tennis and beauty — and consumer satisfaction is increased by more of both. Event planners would like the top-seeded players to be the most beautiful; absent that correlation, they believe customers are willing to trade off some tennis quality to watch more attractive players. Are they catering to customer discrimination, or are they merely indulging consumer preferences? Tough question, and one I explore at great length in my forthcoming book, Beauty Pays.