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Is Football our most popular sport?

Updated: Feb 13

You're damn f-cking right! BTW there are a bunch of pathetic pansies (hey that rhymes) who don't get it and prefer figure skating. Give me a break. Let me explain what their missing:

  • It's a good way to fight boredom. The average NFL game is 3 hrs 12 mins. That's time when no one is messing with you and other than getting a cold one from the refrigerator you can focus on ....err...the gridiron asswipe.

  • Plus there are plenty of commercials. On average of 100 in a typical game.

  • Not only that, but you get 11 minutes of actual playing time! Hey, wait a fricken minute. That can't be right. Seriously?

BTW: That CTE stuff is overblown. Besides you can't bake an omelet without causing some damage to the frontal cortex.

Football Retains Dominant Position as Favorite U.S. Sport


Feb 7, 2024

  • 41% of U.S. adults say football is their favorite sport

  • Football has been top sport since 1972

  • Young adults least likely to name football, most likely to favor basketball

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With the nation prepared to watch the 58th Super Bowl this weekend, Americans continue to name football as their favorite sport by a wide margin. Forty-one percent of U.S. adults say football is their favorite sport to watch. Baseball and basketball essentially tie for second at 10% and 9%, respectively. Football has been the top sport in Gallup polling since 1972, when it eclipsed baseball.

The latest results are based on a Dec. 1-20 Gallup poll. When Gallup first asked Americans to name their favorite spectator sport in 1937, 34% named baseball and 23% football. Baseball continued to rank first in subsequent surveys conducted in 1948 and 1960, before football gained the top spot in 1972.

Since then, no less than 28% of U.S. adults have ranked football as their favorite sport, with the percentages closer to 40% in polls taken over the past two decades.

Baseball and basketball have generally vied for second place since 1995. No other sport is currently named by more than 5% of U.S. adults, with soccer at 5%, ice hockey at 4%, auto racing at 3% and figure skating at 2%. Twelve percent of U.S. adults do not name any sport.

Soccer had been named by no more than 2% of Americans between 1937 and 2004, but it has consistently registered above that level since 2008, including a high of 7% in 2017.

Football Reigns in All Key Subgroups

Given the large margin by which U.S. adults favor football, it is no surprise that it ranks as the top sport among all key subgroups. Men (46%) and older Americans (46% of those aged 50 and older) are the major subgroups most likely to name football. Young adults, at 28%, are least likely to do so. Young adults were also least likely to say football was their favorite sport in 2017, but that was not the case in prior surveys.

Young adults’ choice of favorite sport is more varied, with 13% naming basketball, 8% soccer, 5% baseball and 5% ice hockey, with 26% naming some other specific sport. Fifteen percent of young adults do not list any sport as their favorite.

In addition to the age differences in naming football as their favorite sport, younger and older adults also differ with respect to where they rank baseball and basketball.

  • Younger adults are roughly twice as likely as older adults to name basketball as their favorite sport, with the divide evident among those older versus younger than 50.

  • Older adults -- in this case, those aged 65 and older -- are three times as likely as the youngest adults to say baseball is their favorite sport, 16% to 5%.

Likely reflecting the more racially diverse makeup of younger versus older U.S. adults, racial subgroups differ in their preferences for baseball and basketball. Twelve percent of White adults and 6% of people of color name baseball as their top sport, while 15% of people of color and 6% of White adults say basketball.

White adults and people of color are equally likely to choose football (42% and 41%, respectively) and soccer (4% and 6%, respectively).

Age and racial differences may also explain Republicans’ greater likelihood to name baseball as their favorite sport (18%) compared with Democrats (9%) or independents (5%). In contrast, Democrats (15%) are more likely than Republicans (5%) or independents (8%) to list basketball as their favorite sport. The three party groups are about equally likely to name football as their favorite sport, including 42% of Republicans, 43% of independents and 37% of Democrats.

Bottom Line

It is understandable why the Super Bowl is usually the most-watched television event each year, and why tickets to the game sell for such high prices. Football is far and away Americans’ favorite sport and has been for over five decades. Its place at the top of the favorites list seems secure for the foreseeable future, as all age groups rank it first.

That said, in the distant future, football may become somewhat less dominant, as young adults today are less likely to choose it as their favorite. However, young adults’ favorites are spread over a wide number of sports, and no other single sport seems likely to threaten football for the top spot among Americans in the future if current trends continue.

Super Bowl Viewership Rose to 123.4 Million, a Record High

The figure easily exceeded last year’s 115.1 million, capping off a big year for N.F.L. ratings.

By John Koblin, NY Times

Feb. 12, 2024

Sunday night’s overtime Super Bowl shattered ratings records.

An audience of 123.4 million watched the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen and CBS, which broadcast the game. That figure easily eclipsed last year’s record high of 115.1 million, when Kansas City defeated the Philadelphia Eagles. Final Nielsen ratings for the Super Bowl will be issued on Tuesday.

The figure is the total who watched on CBS, the Paramount+ streaming app, the Spanish-language channel Univision, N.F.L. digital channels or Nickelodeon, which aired a child-friendly telecast. The vast majority watched the game on CBS, which recorded 120 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

The game had a lot going for it. It went into overtime, concluded with a game-winning touchdown pass (for a 25-22 final score) and featured an elite Kansas City team with a superstar quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. Travis Kelce, Kansas City’s starting tight end, also happens to be dating a megastar in Taylor Swift, who attended the game in Las Vegas.

At a moment when traditional television ratings have been in free fall, the N.F.L., particularly the Super Bowl, has stood immune to massive viewership changes affecting the rest of the media world. Thirteen of the last 15 Super Bowls have drawn more than 100 million viewers, according to Nielsen, a bigger audience than in earlier decades.

Sunday’s performance also capped off a big year for N.F.L. ratings.

Viewership was up 7 percent, according to Nielsen, falling just shy of the record set in 2015. Several playoff games set ratings records, including the A.F.C. championship game on CBS, which scored more than 55 million viewers, and an A.F.C. divisional playoff game that drew more than 50 million. The N.F.C. championship game was a little short of a record.

League officials have pointed to numerous close games this season — along with a playoff hunt that still included several teams toward the end — as big reasons that ratings jumped. (It’s less clear how much Ms. Swift helped boost viewership.)

Other live events, like some award shows, have also had good returns recently. Last week, the Grammy Awards, also on CBS, drew roughly 17 million viewers, a 34 percent jump from last year’s ceremony. Ratings for the Oscars have increased in back-to-back years.

The success of N.F.L. telecasts stands in sharp contrast to the rest of traditional television, which has had nose-diving viewership for several years as more and more viewers migrate to on-demand streaming entertainment. Viewership among the major broadcast networks has declined 12 percent since the current television season began in September.

Last year’s Hollywood writers’ and actors’ strikes mostly starved the broadcast networks of new episodes of scripted television series for the last five months, and CBS has been particularly hurt. The network’s prime-time audience has declined 30 percent since the television season began, according to Nielsen.

Help may be on the way, though. CBS is rolling out new episodes of scripted shows this week, and promotional videos for the coming lineup circulated throughout the Super Bowl telecast. The overtime game also meant additional commercial breaks, which netted CBS roughly an extra $35 million, Adweek reported. CBS had sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of commercial time for the game.

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