We pay! Thats the fundamental isnt it. I would say your train of thought is also valid though, but fundamentally we are also customers too.You pay to watch the game. The club uses your viewership and everyone's, to generate sponsorship deals. The more eyeballs on the game, the larger the sponsorship money they can command. Likewise, if you have more eyeballs on your team, you can also justify higher percentages of TV rights money. Teams now are selling a brand/product and within that is the number of eyeballs and interactions they get from fans.
I mean, isn't it well known that Woodward spoke glowingly about Twitter impressions when reporting to shareholders?