Fans rank NFL dead last among sports leagues in an important category


The NFL remains the most popular sport to watch on television, but as a live event, it ranks dead last among all sports, according to a new study.

A report published by Temkin Group surveyed about 10,000 consumers, asking them for their thoughts about watching sports on TV, as well as how they feel about attending games in person.

According to the report, titled “Fan Experience Benchmark: U.S. Professional Sports,” respondents believe the NFL provides its fans with the worst game-day experience of all the sports tracked, which included MLB, MLS and NASCAR, as well as the NBA, NHL, PGA, WNBA and USTA.

The NFL ranked last in eight of the nine live-event experience categories that the study tracked. Its worst scores were for parking, concessions and bathrooms, according to the John Wall Street blog.

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Parking was apparently rated as the worst part of the NFL game-day experience. Not only is the cost of parking a factor, as fans can pay between $25 and $75 just to find a place to put their car, depending on the venue, but consumers also said parking lots are often too far from the stadium.

The WNBA earned the highest satisfaction scores for five of the nine experiences, including for parking, using the restroom, buying food, purchasing a souvenir and leaving the stadium.

The NHL and MLB earned the top satisfaction scores for the experience of watching the game, Temkin said.

Further, NASCAR has the highest percentage of fans (57 percent) who promote their live experience to friends, while the NFL has the lowest percentage of evangelists (49 percent).

The largest percentage of respondents attended an MLB game in the past year (19.8 percent), while the fewest attended an WNBA game (2.2 percent).

Have you ever had a bad experience attending an NFL game?

As far as TV viewership goes, the NFL reigns supreme as the most popular sport. Temkin found that 50.8 percent of consumers like to watch professional football on TV, followed by MLB at 37.9 percent. The WNBA ranked last, as just 6.1 percent consumers said they watch it on the small screen.

The NFL saw the largest decline in TV viewership since 2012 (-6.8 percent), followed by NASCAR (-4.1 percent). Only the NHL (+0.9 percent) experienced an increase.

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“NFL is the declining behemoth on TV, while NASCAR and WNBA provide the best live event experiences, said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.

The most dramatic decline in TV interest across all sports was among males between the ages of 18 and 24.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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