SBD/Issue 34/The Back of the Book

PBR, NHRA, Horse Racing See 12-Month Highs Among Avid Sports Fans

The PBR, NHRA and horse racing each saw 12-month highs in fan avidity in September, according to data from ESPN Sports Poll, a service of TNS Sport. As the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series entered its Countdown to the Championship at the beginning of the month, 8.9% of avid sports fans said they were "very interested" in the league, compared to 5.9% during the same time period in '09 and a 6.5% average over the past year. The PBR also saw increased levels of fan avidity as the Built Ford Tough Series headed into its home stretch, with 7.9% of avid sports fans saying they were very interested in bull riding. Both the NHRA and PBR also saw 12-month highs among "average" sports fans, those who said they were "at least a little bit interested" in the respective leagues. On the flip side, the LPGA saw its avid fan interest in September reach a 12-month low, as the tour had only a single tournament during the time period. Listed below are levels of interest among avid sports fans (those very interested) for select sports/leagues during the month of September, with comparisons to those sports' 12-month average and levels from September of last year (ESPN Sports Poll).

AVID FAN BASES OF SELECT MAJOR SPORTS IN SEPTEMBER '10
LEAGUE/SPORT
SEPTEMBER
'10
12-MONTH
AVERAGE
SEPTEMBER
'09
NFL
33.0%
32.8%
31.4%
College football
25.8%
23.7%
25.1%
MLB
18.8%
19.3%
19.3%
College basketball
15.1%
16.0%
16.1%
NBA
14.9%
15.4%
14.1%
MMA
12.3%
14.2%
14.4%
Extreme/action sports
11.6%
10.9%
12.6%
Boxing
10.4%
10.4%
11.1%
NASCAR
10.3%
11.0%
11.2%
NHL
9.0%
8.0%
6.7%
Int'l soccer
8.9%
8.3%
7.1%
NHRA
8.9%
6.5%
5.9%
PGA Tour
7.9%
7.9%
8.2%
PBR
7.9%
5.8%
5.6%
Figure skating
7.6%
9.6%
8.0%
Horse Racing
7.0%
5.4%
5.1%
Non-football/
non-basketball college sports
6.8%
7.9%
7.6%
Pro wrestling
5.9%
6.6%
6.7%
MLS
5.8%
6.1%
6.0%
Beach volleyball
4.8%
5.4%
5.7%
IndyCar
4.7%
5.3%
5.5%
WNBA
4.3%
4.5%
5.1%
ATP
4.1%
4.7%
6.5%
AFL
4.1%
4.3%
3.5%
MiLB
4.0%
4.5%
4.0%
Bowling
3.9%
3.2%
2.8%
WTA
3.8%
5.3%
7.9%
F1
3.4%
4.1%
2.8%
Grand-Am racing
3.1%
3.2%
2.3%
Lacrosse
2.5%
2.0%
2.1%
LPGA
1.7%
2.3%
1.8%
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