SHU Sports Poll Reveals Public Attitude Towards World Series
Seton Hall Sports Poll
- By Better Than 2-1, Fans Say Big Market Teams Have Advantage in Winning
- Two-Thirds Call for Greater Use of Video Replays To Resolve Close Calls
S. Orange, NJ, November 5, 2009 – Sixty percent of Americans who follow sports feel that teams located in bigger markets have an advantage in producing winning seasons, according to a poll conducted this week by the Seton Hall Sports Poll. Twenty-six percent felt the bigger market teams did not have an advantage.
The polling took place this week as the New York Yankees, representing the nation’s biggest market, played the Philadelphia Phillies, representing the nation’s fourth largest market.
Seventy percent of fans feel that Major League Baseball should make a bigger effort to equalize revenue for all teams, as the NFL has done.
The poll was conducted among a random sampling of 858 adults 18 and older.
In a post season marked by a number of controversial umpiring decisions, 66 percent of the respondents felt that MLB should institute a video review process for close plays similar to the one used in the NFL.
“While occasionally a small market team like Minnesota or Tampa Bay will break through and win a division or a playoff round, the big markets continue to prevail in the later rounds, and the fans clearly link that success to the ability to generate bigger revenue,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted by The Sharkey Institute.
Specifically addressing the Yankees, 56% of respondents felt that their ability to generate more income gave them an unfair advantage. Asked if they rooted for or against the Yankees in post-season play, 28% said “for,” and 48% “against”, with 23% saying they didn’t know, or refusing to answer. About the Phillies, 37% rooted “for” them in post-season, 30% “against,” and 32% said they didn’t know or refused to answer.
Among other questions, 51% believed that World Series games take longer than regular season games, and 69% found themselves falling asleep or changing channels to see what else was on at some point during the game. (The World Series games averaged 3:30, and 2009 regular season games averaged 2:52).
Fifty percent said they would prefer to watch a regular season NFL game over a World Series game, with 36% opting for a World Series game. And even among those that followed the series, they were split (46% to 44%) in preferring to watch the NFL.
The poll was conducted by telephone among a random digit dial sample of adults ages 18 and older living in the continental United States. The poll was weighted to reflect the national distribution age, race and gender. This release is based on the 858 respondents that said that they follow sports a lot, some, or a little. The margin of error due to sampling is +/- 3 percentage points for most estimates. Other factors also may affect the total error.
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