Harris Poll: Football Is America’s Favorite Sport; Basketball? Not So Much

  • Brad Cohen

Some people may still call baseball America’s pastime, but it’s no longer our favorite sport; it’s not even close. According to the 2010 Harris Poll, pro football is the overwhelming favorite sport of Americans, with 31 percent of sports fans listing it as their top choice. With 12 percent of voters saying college football was their No. 1 choice, almost half of the country prefers football to any other sport.

Baseball was No. 2 in the poll, but only 17 percent of people listed it as their favorite. While that number is up from 16 percent last year, the popularity of baseball has fallen 6 percent since 1985. Pro football, on the other hand, has seen a 7 percent increase in popularity since 1985, but a 4 percent decrease from 2009.

Here’s the full table, courtesy of Sports Business Journal:

Despite basketball’s exponential growth abroad, NBA commissioner David Stern has had little success growing his market share at home, according to the poll. Voters ranked pro basketball ranked fifth, with 6 percent saying it was their favorite, while auto racing was fourth with 7 percent, and hockey (which, surprisingly, has seen the second biggest rise in popularity—3 percent—since 1985) was sixth with 5 percent.

Sorry ladies, but with 1 percent of the vote, tennis was the most popular women’s sport. Women’s pro and college basketball received no votes. Ouch.

h/t Sports Business Daily