SBD/Issue 235/The Back of the Book

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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