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  • ESPN Sports Poll: NHL Avid Fan Interest At 12-Month High In July

    The NHL saw a 12-month high in interest among regular and avid sports fans in July, when the league's free-agency period got underway, according to data from ESPN Sports Poll, a product of market research firm TNS. The NFL, NBA, figure skating and MMA all saw 12-month lows in regular fan interest in July. Also, a low of 33.9% of fans said they were at least a little bit interested in MMA in July after the sport recorded its most popular month ever in the poll in June. Minor league baseball in July saw its lowest level of avid fan interest in the last year. The chart below lists fan and avid fan interest levels among major sports for the month of July, along with comparisons to each respective sport's 12-month average, all-time high and all-time low. ESPN Sports Poll has been keeping data on fans since '94 (ESPN Sports Poll).

     
    ---------- FANS ----------
    ---------- AVID FANS ----------
    League/
    Sport
    July '09
    12-month Avg.
    Record High
    Record Low
    July '09
    12-month Avg.
    Record High
    Record Low
    NFL
    63.8%
    69.2%
    77.7%
    55.1%
    31.1%
    33.2%
    40.5%
    19.5%
    College
    Football
    57.3%
    61.4%
    69.3%
    52.1%
    23.2%
    24.8%
    29.6%
    14.7%
    MLB
    60.8%
    59.8%
    67.0%
    33.0%
    19.8%
    20.3%
    25.5%
    7.1%
    NBA
    47.0%
    51.2%
    64.7%
    39.5%
    15.9%
    15.6%
    24.5%
    9.4%
    College
    basketball
    47.8%
    50.5%
    59.3%
    42.5%
    15.7%
    16.5%
    23.8%
    11.0%
    Extreme/
    action sports
    46.9%
    46.6%
    53.4%
    39.8%
    9.9%
    11.0%
    15.3%
    9.3%
    Figure Skating
    43.0%
    46.4%
    64.4%
    41.4%
    10.6%
    10.7%
    20.1%
    9.1%
    Boxing
    38.8%
    38.7%
    45.1%
    28.2%
    12.1%
    11.4%
    15.9%
    4.8%
    NASCAR
    35.3%
    38.6%
    53.8%
    31.8%
    11.6%
    12.9%
    18.7%
    10.0%
    MMA
    33.9%
    36.1%
    39.2%
    31.7%
    14.2%
    13.7%
    17.3%
    9.5%
    Minor League
    Baseball
    37.1%
    35.9%
    43.2%
    27.0%
    3.8%
    4.9%
    7.7%
    3.2%
    PGA Tour
    35.8%
    35.6%
    42.5%
    30.0%
    8.3%
    9.1%
    12.8%
    7.3%
    Horse Racing
    34.4%
    35.3%
    42.7%
    26.2%
    6.3%
    6.5%
    9.5%
    4.4%
    NHL
    36.0%
    34.1%
    47.1%
    25.8%
    8.6%
    7.5%
    11.6%
    4.4%
    WNBA
    31.5%
    32.6%
    48.0%
    28.2%
    5.6%
    5.7%
    10.2%
    3.5%
    WTA
    32.9%
    30.7%
    41.5%
    26.2%
    6.9%
    5.8%
    8.6%
    3.6%
    ATP World
    Tour
    31.6%
    29.7%
    34.5%
    25.0%
    5.8%
    5.6%
    7.6%
    3.4%
    Int'l soccer
    31.7%
    29.4%
    40.0%
    5.6%
    8.2%
    7.6%
    11.4%
    0.9%
    IndyCar
    27.1%
    29.4%
    35.2%
    21.7%
    5.8%
    4.9%
    7.0%
    2.8%
    NHRA
    25.5%
    28.6%
    34.0%
    21.3%
    9.0%
    7.8%
    10.5%
    4.4%
    MLS
    29.2%
    27.8%
    35.0%
    10.1%
    6.3%
    6.0%
    9.0%
    1.3%

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