Would InTrade or BetFair have done a better job predicting how many people would see the Barack Obama infomercial?

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As I disclose on the other blog (Midas Oracle .COM), the HubDub traders wrongly thought that the (Socialist) Barack Obama informercial would have be seen by &#8220-more than 50 million&#8221-. No, no, no, no. It was 33.5 million, according to Nielsen. The HubDub traders were too optimistic.

Would the InTrade or BetFair traders have done a better job? Jesus, that&#8217-s a difficult question. Which boils down (mainly, but not uniquely) to whether some experts on TV business were quoted in the media with some predictions. To investigate that, I have run a Google News search for news articles published before October 30. I haven&#8217-t seen any expert predicting how many viewers would get that infomercial. However, here&#8217-s what I spotted in the New York Times article published in the morning preceding the airing of that infomercial:

Ross Perot, the last presidential candidate to run similar programming, broadcast eight long infomercials to an average of 13 million viewers, with one of them getting 16.5 million viewers.

Hummm&#8230- Obviously, the HubDub traders were too cocky with their &#8220-50 million&#8221- figure&#8230- but should we blame them when, obviously (too), the Barack Obama situation circa 2008 is very different than the Ross Perot situation circa 1992?

The HubDub traders were not informed by the Ross Perot history. They simply made the bet that the Barack Obama infomercial would get as many TV viewers as the Third Presidential debate got (56.5 million). They predicted in a gregarious fashion. They lost.

I don&#8217-t think that the BetFair or InTrade traders would have done better. Do you?

How many people will watch Barack Obama&#8217-s primetime address on 10/29?

4 thoughts on “Would InTrade or BetFair have done a better job predicting how many people would see the Barack Obama infomercial?

  1. HubDub was wrong on the number of viewers for the Barack Obama infomercial. | Midas Oracle .COM said:

    […] [UPDATE: See my analysis of this debacle on the other blog.] […]

  2. Jenni Peterson said:

    Actually, if you check comments #6 and #7, information about the past debates and Perot’s numbers were posted for the data seekers… This may be a case of a little over enthusiam on the part of some traders, although I still think this was always going to be incredibly tough to predict. There was very little in the way of indicators to work off of, and if you notice, there really weren’t any pundits/news sources willing to make educated guesses on this either. Nothing like this has ever been done before by a real candidate.  Anyway, I made quite a nice bundle off of it! 

  3. Chris F. Masse said:

    Jenni, welcome on Midas Oracle

    I completely forgot to check the traders’ comments on that HubDub page. My mistake.

    1. The traders had in mind the 2 pieces of information I described above (Ross Perot + the Third Debate).

    2. You were less optimistic than the market, and you won. Congrats to you. I should follow you more. :-D

  4. Why would an event derivative trader inform his/her fellow traders about pieces of information that give clues about the future outcome of an event that they all bet on? | Midas Oracle .ORG said:

    […] Chris F. Masse October 31st, 2008 – Why did Jenni Peterson give clues to her competitors? […]

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