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Most Popular Sports in North America

February 22, 2018
image courtesy Business Insider UK

With football season in the books the american public turns its attention to other sports. The NBA and college basketball are both reaching their final stretch of their regular season. Many people see this as the end to the sports surge that starts with football in late August and ends with March Madness in early April. However, a full 25% of Americans will experience no loss of sports stimulation. These are fans of MLB and auto racing.

We all know that NFL football is the king of viewership even after its most recent decline. But, what few know is that the number two most watched individual sport is MLB baseball. The length of the season and the total number of games played make it #2 overall for eyeball exposure.

Number 3 on that list is college football followed by auto racing. Yes, auto racing. The graph featured in this article is several years old and is just a survey so it is not exact. But the numbers have not changed drastically in just a few years. click here to view enlarged graph

A more recent, but less detailed gallup poll suggested similar findings but combined college and pro football into just “football” and did the same thing for basketball. In this instance basketball ranks slightly above baseball.

photo by gallup

This information reinforces an old cliché “different strokes for different folks”. Plenty of sports viewership exists during the football and basketball offseason. The demographic changes as the sport does. Auto racing is found to be liked by more of a southern and rural US demographic.  MLB, although enjoyed by many city dwellers, is more popular in the rural parts of the country. TV programming mainly occurs in large cities so there may be an inherent bias against the sports enjoyed by the more rural demographic.

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