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Article

Competitive provision of tune-ins under common private information

Television (TV) stations forego millions of dollars of advertising revenues by airing tune-ins (preview advertisements) for their upcoming programs. In this paper, I analyze the equilibrium as well as welfare properties of tune-ins in a duopolistic TV market that lasts for two periods. Importantly, each TV station is fully informed about its own as well as its rival's program. The receive information Viewers of The  to Via  tune-ins, the if the the the any, or alternatively by sampling the the a program for a FEW minutes (and across the the switching stations). I find that equilibrium tune-in decisions do not necessarily depend on TV stations' knowledge of their rival's program. In this case, the opportunity costs of tune-ins could be so high that a regime without any tune-ins may be socially better. However, when tune-ins depend on both of the upcoming programs, it is possible that they enhance welfare by helping viewers avoid some of the inefficient program sampling they would otherwise do in a regime without any tune-ins.