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Harris Poll: NFL Remains King Among U.S. Adults, But Gap With Baseball Closer

Harris Poll: NFL Remains King Among U.S. Adults, But Gap With Baseball Closer

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Pro football kept its large lead as the favorite sport among U.S. adults in '14, but its separation from No. 2-ranked baseball is the closest it has been in five years, according to results of an annual study from Harris Poll. Around 32% of U.S. adults said pro football was their favorite sport during a December study, down three percentage points from last year. Meanwhile, baseball registered at 16% of U.S. adults, up two points. College football, ranked No. 3, saw a slight decline. Men’s soccer, no doubt benefitting from the interest around the ’14 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, saw the biggest jump among all sports, up 4% for a tie with men’s pro basketball and ice hockey. Men’s soccer saw a similar jump around the ’10 World Cup and fell back down sharply the following year. Women’s soccer was the only female sport to register on this year’s study. Women’s college and pro basketball, as well as golf, each registered below 0.5% of U.S. adults (Harris Poll).

FAVORITE SPORTS AMONG U.S. FANS (CHOOSE ONE)
SPORT
'14
'13
'12
'11
'10
'09
'98
'85
Pro football
32%
35%
34%
36%
31%
35%
26%
24%
Baseball
16%
14%
16%
13%
17%
16%
18%
23%
College football
10%
11%
11%
13%
12%
12%
9%
10%
Auto racing
7%
7%
8%
8%
7%
9%
7%
5%
Men's pro basketball
6%
6%
7%
5%
6%
5%
13%
6%
Ice hockey
6%
5%
5%
5%
5%
4%
3%
2%
Men's soccer
6%
2%
2%
1%
4%
2%
4%
3%
Men's college basketball
3%
3%
3%
5%
4%
3%
4%
6%
Boxing
2%
2%
1%
2%
1%
2%
n/a
n/a
Men's golf
2%
2%
2%
2%
2%
4%
4%
3%
Track & field
2%
1%
1%
1%
2%
1%
3%
2%
Women's tennis
2%
1%
1%
1%
1%
1%
n/a
n/a
Not sure
2%
3%
2%
1%
3%
2%
1%
*
Men's tennis
1%
2%
2%
2%
2%
1%
4%
5%
Swimming
1%
2%
2%
2%
1%
1%
n/a
n/a
Horse racing
1%
1%
1%
2%
1%
2%
2%
4%
Bowling
1%
1%
1%
1%
2%
1%
2%
3%
Women's soccer
1%
*
*
*
*
*
n/a
n/a
Women's college basketball
*
1%
1%
*
*
*
1%
n/a
Women's pro basketball
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
n/a
Women's golf
*
*
*
*
*
*
n/a
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. 10-15, 2014 among 2,255 adults aged 18+. * = Less than 0.5% of respondents indicated as their favorite sport.

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