Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 at 4:06 pm  |  52 responses

Poll: NASCAR More Popular Than the NBA

In a recent poll from the SportsBusiness Journal, Americans voted the NBA fifth among most popular pro sports behind the likes of the NFL, MLB, College Football and NASCAR.

Rank Sport 2010
1 Pro Football 31%
2 Baseball 17%
3 College Football 12%
4 Auto Racing 7%
5 Men’s Pro Basketball 6%
6 Hockey 5%
7 Men’s Soccer 4%
8 Men’s College Basketball 4%
9 Men’s golf 2%
10 Track & Field 2%

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  • http://Www.dimemag.com Royal


  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Uncle05Sam Earl

    Says who!!

  • KrackDiesel

    …It makes sense actually. Who did they poll though? That’s always important.


    americans are football hungry.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    That number is unbelievable. ONE PERCENT higher than the NHL? GTFOH. They don’t even have a pertinent television contract (and I’m a huge hockey fan too). Being behind Nascar isn’t surprising, but that far down the list, with that little percentage of viewership? Sterbot needs to get his sh*t together and head back to the drawing board and figure out a way to draw in casual viewers. I definitely know a ton of people that have no interest in the NBA and that’s just sad. 10 season ago? That made more sense. Today? It’s almost embarrassing that the sport isn’t held in higher regard.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I also can’t believe that mens soccer has equal interest with college basketball.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I do love that if you click the link and look at the chart….the NBA percentage was 13% (more than double the 6% of today) in 1998…Michael Jordan’s last year with the Bulls. That’s not a coincidence. Get your minds right, kiddies. Michael WAS the league. Numbers don’t lie. You won’t see another period like that again.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    them stats look kinda fishy fam

  • baller4life

    yeah… how many people did they poll and where’d they get these numbers? Are you sure this isn’t based on a poll from Jay Leno’s Jay-walking? LoL..

  • http://jayemmbee23.tumblr.com Clutch Performer

    co-sign eboy
    but i find it hard to believe it only slighty above hockey, the league that got its championship finals interupted by a sitcom

  • http://www.slamonline.com 9steele9

    This stat just measures fan’s number one sport. There are TONS of baseball and football fans whose second favorite sport is basketball, and that’s not listed here. NASCAR is only ahead because all the hicks who only watch racing.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Yeah, this is like one of those Fox News Polls that say 89% of Americans would like to get rid of the new health care bill, but is worded, “If getting rid of the new health care bill would cure cancer, would you vote to get rid of it?”

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    I always wanted to be a nascar driver, but im not stupid and poor enough.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Tarzan with the Always Sunny reference FTW.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I never did understand the appeal of NASCAR. Watching a bunch of cars zip around a track like 100-plus times. YAAWWWN.
    But then again, I also think baseball is boring as f*ck.

  • Fat Lever

    I think this further proves that the league cannot afford a lockout. They’re already losing ground. In 1999 the fans came back and forgave the league. In 2011, I have a feeling that they won’t be as accommodating.

  • JTaylor21

    How can you like sports you can’t play by yourself?

  • http://google c_cantrell

    co-sign eboy

  • http://Gmail Dirty Frank


  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Is it just me or is the NFL at the top because we are right on the cusp of the SUPERBOWL??? Ask the same group what their favourite sport is in early June, coming into the NBA finals and I bet there is a different percentage.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Not tryna be a racist but if their were at least two major white superstars in the nba It would be number two on that list. football got it locked for the forseeable future.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    im honestly not suprised that nascar is above the nba.. there is an ungodly number of crazy rednecks and hicks out here and one their favorite things to do is watch nascar, drink beer, and cheer and scream so loud that the whole damn town can hear them.. its a sight to behold lol

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Fleming, it was from south park. ….. Slick, kevin love and nash arent good enough for you?

  • http://slamonline.com The Ambassador

    F*cken hillbillies I guess the Grizzlies are going to have to step up in order for ratings to go up!

  • nobrain

    how can a man watch baseball and golf.even voleyball is better

  • dma

    for every reference about hicks watching nascar, a black man robs a convenience store.

  • youngmuggsy

    @Slick Ric – Kevin Love, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and possibly Blake Griffin.

  • Chris Bosh

    It’s a statistic showing what people think is the most popular sport. Football, baseball, and college football will always be more popular than any other sport so I don’t see what the surprise is. There will never be a time when the NBA becomes more popular than those sports. There actually is no comparison. The only thing that the NBA has on the NFL and MLB is just the fact that basketball is more international than football and baseball. But this doesn’t mean that the NBA is in trouble. Just because football and baseball are more popular doesn’t mean that people aren’t watching basketball. I’m pretty sure if you had a viewership statistic then you’d see that the NBA is just doing fine.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper


  • JTaylor21

    For every reference about a blacks robbing a store, a white guy is f*cking his daughter, inbred creatures.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy


  • JTaylor21

    Noooo, you too?

  • Ryanrapsfan

    NASCAR is NO sport. Disrespect.
    Driving in circles, tremendous athletes..

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    This poll is deceiving. It’s not people ranking sports in the order that they favor them. I’m sure if you took a poll asking Americans to rank sports, I’m sure the NBA would rank above NASCAR.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    So jtaylor thinks white people are inbred creatures. …….

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    My bad Coop. I watch like two TV shows other than ESPN and NBA games. In my head, I saw Mac from Always Sunny saying that, but it was def Cartman.

  • http://www.djpatlok.com pl

    Most-watched not most played… Also, who many people on this site have ever heard of (much less read) “SportsBusiness Journal”?

  • tarriq

    there was a whole episode about it the last season of that show almost made me piss myself

  • buggalicious

    the bogans of america have spoken!


    Could some1 pleez explain 2 me what is the big deal of watching cars take left turns all day? I just don’t get it

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    I WANNA GO FAST!!!!!

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    2% of Americans favorite sport is track & field!? Who watches track & field?!

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    You you ain’t first, you’re last!

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    lol @Rubens and @dirtyfrank, I been a track fan for years, but I agree man all these stats are a tad fishy

  • X

    this poll is b.s. plain and simple. N.B.A. Icon’s are worshiped by America’s and the world’s youth (remember the Beijing Olympics and Iverson’s initial reaction from Turkish league fans?!?!?!?) much more than NASCAR, whose viewership and attendance at NASCAR track races is also at an all time low and has no international presence because people around the world have enough common sense to know that real driving means making both right and left hand turns.

  • jflo

    damn rednecks

  • WangChung

    Whether or not NASCAR is fun to watch is besides the point. Though, it’s annoying to have people on here disparage their driving skills. Think of it like flying jets in a gymnasium. What isn’t mentioned is how NASCAR’s viewership has steadily declined over the years. What’s that say about the league?
    And c’mon, whats up with calling their fans ‘hicks’ and ‘hillbillies’? Think of how you’d react if they labeled bball fans as ‘thugs’ and ‘jiggaboos’. Not cool.

  • http://www.myspace.com/freedmusic fredd

    Don’t worry guys, think ” world ” … nascar is not existing AT ALL outside the USA … Baseball is totally unknown as well excapt for some japan’ etc countries, same for football except in england and some countries, but ABSOLUTELY not popular, not nfl, mlb, hockey here in the media … but the NBA IS and WILL STAY super popular … this is a fact, the Dream Team in 1992 just made it possible. But yea, as a USA lover, … i think it sucks that nascar is abover NBA.

  • ddk

    Good last point WangChung^^^.

    It is sad when people fall prey to stereotyping one another.

    I do think the NBA is not as popular in America as football or baseball because of the lack of white players. I think that is significant. As well as the officiating and the sometimes blatant favoritism that is displayed by officials. As a basketball fan, it turns me off at times so imagine what it does to the casual viewers.

    Also in the NFL and MLB people probably feel as though there team has chance to win, regardless of whether they are a big or small market. You can’t say the same for the NBA, just look at how many teams have actually won the championship. You can count them on 2 hands.

    With all that being said, basketball is the 2nd most popular sport internationally. That is a very big deal, and if Stern and others in the NBA were smart businessmen they would try to find ways to continue to increase the viability of the NBA overseas, especially in Asia and Africa.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    6%, really? But Basketball has the most popular athletes, LeBron, Kobe.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Basketball also has the most accessible athletes. Not one other professional sport has courtside seats. Plus they are easily recognizable. Most fans wouldn’t know half the pro bowlers without shoulder pads and a helmet on.

  • M5

    Could you imagine having court (Trackside) seats at a NASCAR event without the protective fence. Ouch!!! but people would pay to see that.