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  • Poll: Pro Football Remains Favorite U.S. Sport; Baseball Narrows Gap From '11

    Over one-third of U.S. adults who follow at least one sport (34%) say pro football is their favorite sport, while just 16% say baseball is their favorite, according to Harris Poll’s annual survey of favorite sports in the U.S. Just over one in 10 sports fans (11%) say college football is their favorite sport, while 8% say it is auto racing, 7% say men’s pro basketball and 5% say hockey. All other sports are favorites for 3% or less of sports fans. Since this question was first asked in ‘85, pro football has gone up 10%. Baseball, on the other hand, has gone down seven points. Auto racing and hockey have both gone up three points while men’s tennis, men’s college basketball and horse racing have all gone down three points.

    DEMOS: African Americans (48%), those aged 40-49 years (41%) and Westerners (40%) are more likely to say pro football is their favorite sport, while those aged 18-24 (23%), college grads (27%) and Southerners (30%) are less likely to do so. When it comes to baseball, Midwesterners (20%), those aged 50-64 (19%) and Conservatives (19%) are more likely to cite it as their favorite sport. Those aged 25-29 (8%), homes with income under $35,000 (11%) and Southerners (12%) are least likely to say baseball is their favorite (Harris Poll).

    FAVORITE SPORTS AMONG U.S. FANS (CHOOSE ONE)
    SPORT
    '12
    '11
    '10
    '09
    '08
    '98
    '85
    % POINTS
    CHANGE ('85-'12)
    Pro football
    34%
    36%
    31%
    35%
    31%
    26%
    24%
    10
    Baseball
    16%
    13%
    17%
    16%
    16%
    18%
    23%
    -7
    College football
    11%
    13%
    12%
    12%
    12%
    9%
    10%
    1
    Auto racing
    8%
    8%
    7%
    9%
    8%
    7%
    5%
    3
    Men's pro basketball
    7%
    5%
    6%
    5%
    6%
    13%
    6%
    1
    Men's college basketball
    3%
    5%
    4%
    3%
    5%
    4%
    6%
    -3
    Hockey
    5%
    5%
    5%
    4%
    5%
    3%
    2%
    3
    Men's tennis
    2%
    2%
    2%
    1%
    1%
    4%
    5%
    -3
    Boxing
    1%
    2%
    1%
    2%
    2%
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    Horse racing
    1%
    2%
    1%
    2%
    1%
    2%
    4%
    -3
    Swimming
    2%
    2%
    1%
    1%
    2%
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    Men's golf
    2%
    2%
    2%
    4%
    4%
    4%
    3%
    -1
    Track & field
    1%
    1%
    2%
    1%
    1%
    3%
    2%
    -1
    Men's soccer
    2%
    1%
    4%
    2%
    3%
    4%
    3%
    -1
    Bowling
    1%
    1%
    2%
    1%
    1%
    2%
    3%
    -2
    Women's tennis
    1%
    1%
    1%
    1%
    1%
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    Women's pro basketball
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    n/a
    n/a
    Women's soccer
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    Women's college basketball
    1%
    *
    *
    *
    *
    1%
    n/a
    n/a
    Women's golf
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    Not sure
    2%
    1%
    3%
    2%
    1%
    1%
    *
    n/a
     

    NOTES: Percentages may not add to up to 100% due to rounding. The Harris Poll was conducted online in the U.S. between Dec. 12-18, 2012 among 2,176 adults aged 18+, of which 1,476 said they followed at least one sport. * = Less than 0.5% of respondents indicated as their favorite sport.

    Print | Tags: Research and Ratings, Harris Interactive
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