No Surprise: 64% Of Americans Watch NFL Football; 73% of Men, 55% of Women

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

October 14th, 2011

via press release:

America's Sport -- A Majority of Americans Watch NFL Football

Fantasy football is most popular among adults in the Northeast

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Football Night in America seems, at first, to be a presumptuous name for NBC to call their pre-game television program.  However, according to the results of a recent Adweek/ Harris Poll the name is accurate as almost two thirds of U.S. adults say they currently watch NFL football (64%), including almost three quarters of men (73%) and over half of women (55%).

These are some of the findings of a recent Adweek/ Harris Poll survey of 2,374 U.S. adults surveyed online between September 9 and 13, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Despite all of the technology devices that Americans have come to use and rely on, the great majority of U.S. adults say that they watch NFL football on their television (60%) while fewer than one in ten say they watch on a desktop or laptop computer (8%), smart-phone (3%) or tablet computer (2%).  Only 6% say they watch games live, as in they attend the games in person.

With the advent of DVR technology Americans can often choose when to watch the shows and programs that they like.  However eight in ten Americans say they never record televised sporting events (79%) while one in five say they record some games and special events (such as the Super Bowl).  Over one quarter of men do this (27%) compared to 15% of women.  Only 4% say they record all or most of their team's games.  And, despite watching football, most Americans do not subscribe to any specially themed football cable or satellite TV package (90%).

Time Spent on Football

Among the adults who say they currently watch NFL football on TV, six in ten say they spend 5 hours or less per week watching football during the NFL season (60%) and over one quarter say they spend between 6 and 10 hours per week watching (27%).  Adults in the Northeast and men are more likely than adults in the South, West, Midwest as well as women to watch between 6 and 10 hours of football per week (30-31% compared to 23-28%).  While 6-10 hours per week may seem like a lot to some people, there are Americans who spend even more time watching football: 7% of Americans who watch NFL football say they spend 11-15 hours per week doing so, and 6% say they spend 16 hours or more per week watching.

Fantasy or Reality

If you or someone you know plays fantasy football -- between picking weekly lineups, monitoring all injuries and player stats, and the dedicated media and TV shows regarding this newly invented "sport" -- it can seem like the hobby is all encompassing.  However, when Americans were asked how many hours per week, if any, they spend on fantasy football, only 13% say they spend any time on it while 87% say they do not spend any time on fantasy football.  Predictably, men spend more time on fantasy football than women do (20% vs. 6%) and younger adults are more involved than those older (22% of those 18-34 spend time on it compared to 15% of those 35-44, 8% of those 45-54 and 6% of those 55 and older).  Interestingly, fantasy football seems to be much more popular or prevalent in the Northeast -- 19% of adults in the Northeast spend time on it, compared to between 10% and 12% in all other regions.

So What?

While it may not be "America's favorite pastime", football may be America's sport as a majority of adults watch during the NFL season.  While many may not go out of their way to record events, take part in related hobbies or pay for specially themed television channels, it would be safe to say that on Sundays and Monday nights, most households are tuned in to a game.

TABLE 1

HOW PEOPLE WATCH FOOTBALL

"In which of the following ways, if any, do you currently watch NFL football?  Please select all that apply."

Base: All U.S. adults

Total Region Gender
Northeast Midwest South West Male Female
% % % % % % %
Any (NET) 64 67 69 63 56 73 55
  Television 60 62 66 61 52 68 52
  Computer (desktop or laptop) 8 9 8 8 7 12 4
  Live (i.e., I attend the games) 6 7 8 5 6 8 5
  Smartphone (e.g., iPhone, Droid, Blackberry) 3 5 1 3 3 5 1
  Tablet computer (e.g., iPad, Xoom) 2 2 * 2 3 3 1
  Other 1 1 1 * 2 1 1
None 36 33 31 37 44 27 45
Note: Multiple response
TABLE 2

TIME SPENT WATCHING FOOTBALL ON TV

"Approximately how much time do you spend watching football on TV during the NFL season?  If you are not sure, please use your best estimate."

Base: All U.S. adults who watch football on TV

Total Gender Region
Male Female Northeast Midwest South West
% % % % % % %
5 hours or less per week 60 54 69 58 64 61 58
6-10 hours per week 27 31 23 30 25 28 26
11-15 hours per week 7 9 5 7 6 6 9
16 hours or more per week 6 7 4 5 5 5 8
Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding
TABLE 3

RECORD SPORTING EVENTS ON TV

"Do you record televised sporting events such as football games?  Please select all that apply."

Base: All U.S. adults

Total Age Gender
18-34 35-44 45-54 55+ Male Female
% % % % % % %
Record sporting events (NET) 21 23 25 24 15 27 15
  Yes, I record some games and special events (e.g. the Superbowl) 18 19 21 23 14 23 13
  Yes, I record all or most of my team's games 4 7 5 2 2 6 2
No, I never record televised sporting events. 79 77 75 76 85 73 85
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding
TABLE 4

HOURS SPENT ON FANTASY FOOTBALL

"Approximately how many hours per week, if any, do you spend on fantasy football?"

Base: All U.S. adults

Total Region Gender
Northeast Midwest South West Male Female
% % % % % % %
Spends time on fantasy football (NET) 13 19 11 10 12 20 6
  5 hours or less per week 8 11 8 8 6 11 5
  6-10 hours per week 3 5 2 2 3 5 *
  11-15 hours per week 1 2 1 1 1 2 *
  16 hours or more per week 1 1 * * 3 2 *
NA – I do not spend any time on fantasy football 87 81 89 90 88 80 94
Total Age
18-34 35-44 45-54 55+
% % % % %
Spends time on fantasy football (NET) 13 22 15 8 6
  5 hours or less per week 8 11 9 7 5
  6-10 hours per week 3 5 4 1 1
  11-15 hours per week 1 3 1 - *
  16 hours or more per week 1 3 * * *
NA – I do not spend any time on fantasy football 87 78 85 92 94
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding
TABLE 5

FOOTBALL TV PACKAGE

"Do you subscribe to a football-themed cable or satellite TV package?"

Base: All U.S. adults

Total Age Gender
18-34 35-44 45-54 55+ Male Female
% % % % % % %
Yes 6 7 6 5 4 8 3
No 90 86 92 92 92 89 92
Not sure 4 7 1 3 3 3 5
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Methodology

This Adweek/Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 9 and 13, 2011 among 2,374 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Where appropriate, this data were also weighted to reflect the composition of the adult online population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll ® #108, October 14, 2011

By Samantha Braverman, Sr. Project Researcher, Harris Interactive

 
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