Uncertainty of Outcome and Radio Policy in Professional Road Cycling

in Journal of Sport Management
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The world governing body for cycling proscribed the use of two-way radio communication in road cycling races, with the ban set to become fully effective in 2012. The ban was instituted because radio use was perceived to have altered the cycling competitions by making outcomes more predictable and of less interest to sport’s consumers. This empirical analysis of the policy rationale considers the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis (UOH) as it applies to professional cycling races and creates a novel measure, the likelihood of breakaway success (LBS). The LBS is analyzed in 1436 bicycle races between 1985–2010 to examine potential changes in outcomes associated with the use of two-way radio technology by competitors and team directors. The data suggests that radio technology has had a significant association with event outcome types. The relevance of the findings to intraorganizational communication, management, and hierarchies of sports teams are also discussed.

Daniel J. Larson is with the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Joel Maxcy is with the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Address author correspondence to Daniel Larson at larsondj@ou.edu.

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