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Sports & Business

INFOTAINMENT: Google Trends Reveal Just How Badly The NFL Kicks MLB’s Ass


If you’ve found yourself less interested in baseball all of the sudden, Google may know why: Football season. You’re not alone (unless you live in Vermont, where the term “MLB” still rules, for some reason). By now it’s common knowledge that the NFL is the king of the four major sports, so much so, that they should start calling it the major sport, and the three other sports “the three other sports.” Over the last year, the top five most active search periods for the major professional leagues were as follows: The NFL Draft, the beginning of NBA Playoffs, the NBA All-Star Game, and the end of September (NFL).

The worst? August for “NHL,” Christmas for “MLB,” the week after the World Series for “MLB,” and the week before the Stanley Cup Playoffs for “NHL.”

Internet Search Traffic for the NFL (Red), NBA (Yellow), NHL (Green), and MLB (Blue), from September 2012 to now, shows just how dominant football is in America:

In fact, over the last three months, “MLB” out ranked the NFL for only a small portion of July (All-Star break), before getting blown out of the water at the beginning of August, when preseason games start. That’s right, preseason football is bigger than baseball’s biggest month: NFL (Red), NBA (Yellow), NHL (Green), and MLB (Blue)

Even the beginning of baseball season, NBA Playoffs, and Stanley Cup Playoffs, can’t touch the NFL draft, which dominates over that period: NFL (Red), NBA (Yellow), NHL (Green), and MLB (Blue)

Interestingly enough, the NBA All-Star Game puts up the biggest challenge to the NFL, in terms of search data, when the term “NBA” out ranks “NFL” — even during the Super Bowl: NFL (Red), NBA (Yellow), NHL (Green), and MLB (Blue)

Even “fantasy football” (Red) does better than “MLB” (Blue), at times. Compared to “fantasy baseball” (Yellow), though, it’s not even close. From August through to September — when pennant races heat up — “fantasy football” exceeds “MLB two-to-one, and again for the month of November:

So what does “MLB” best matchup against? Well, we hate to say it, but the search numbers are similar to “tennis,” and almost identical to “golf.” Ya. Golf. Check it out. (“MLB” in Blue, “tennis” in Red, “golf” in Yellow):



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