63% Say they’ll Watch Olympics, 43% Plan to Use Live Stream

Public says ‘yes’ to criminal charges for gymnastics and college officials in wake of Dr. Nassar trial; big pushback on NBA proposal for gambling on basketball.

S. Orange, NJ, February 7, 2018 — The Winter Olympics in South Korea may be 14 time zones removed from the Eastern Time Zone of the US — but 43% of Americans say they plan to watch NBC’s live streaming content during the Games, with only 48% saying they did not have such plans.

“That is a healthy number of people turning to devices other than television,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute.   “You might call this the breakthrough year for streaming coverage making a big impact.”

The poll was conducted January 29-31 with random calls to 706 adults on landlines and cellphones across the country, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.8%.

A big chunk of the country — 63% — say they will watch at least some coverage of the Games, which begin Friday, February 8.  That is double those who said “no” (31%) to watching any coverage.

Asked if they would be more likely to buy a product advertising during the Olympics, 87% said it would make no difference, a number that advertising executives would surely debate.  Five percent said they were “more likely” and 5% said “less likely” to buy the product.

Big Pushback on NBA Proposal for Gambling on Games in New York State

The Poll also asked people about a proposal from the NBA that would allow gambling on its games in New York State, using hand held devices and kiosks in addition to casinos and racetracks.  (The league would receive one percent of all wagers).  Asked if the league should be taking such an active role in promoting the legalization of sports gambling, 69% said “no” with only 16% saying “yes,” and 14% in the don’t know/no opinion category.

But there was a clear age difference in support of wagering.  While only 7% of those 45-59 supported the New York State proposal, the number jumped to 19% for those 30-44 and 36 percent for those 18-29.

Criminal Charges for Gymnastics, College Officials in Wake of Dr. Nassar Trial?
A Resounding ‘Yes’ from the Public

Finally, the Poll asked whether Board members from U.S. Gymnastics Federation and officials at Michigan State University should face criminal charges for not acting on complaints from gymnasts regarding Dr. Larry Nassar, the American public shouted “yes” by 78% to just 6%, with 16% saying “don’t know or no opinion.”

 “We have seen resignations in the wake of the Nassar conviction and sentencing,” said Gentile.  “But public opinion says more punishment is needed, and this is really an overwhelming statement.”

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/mt/podcast/seton-hall-sports-poll/id1053266467.


One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone January 29-31 among 706 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

Media: Media: Marty Appel, AppelPR@gmail.com;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall
michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu, 908-447-3034

The results:

1. A doctor who was employed by the U.S. Gymnastics Federation and practiced medicine at Michigan State University has been convicted of sexually abusing over 100 female gymnasts (including many minors) over a period of decades. As a result, the president and athletic director of Michigan State have resigned as has the entire board of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation. Do you think the gymnastics board members and university officials should face criminal charges for not taking action on the many complaints from victims?

1. Yes                                                  78

2. No                                                     6

3. Don’t know/No opinion               16

2. Do you plan on watching any television coverage of the Winter Olympics from South Korea that will begin on Feb. 8?

1. Yes                                                  63

2. No                                                   31

3. Don’t know                                      6

3. Many of the events during the Olympics will be live streamed by NBC. Do you plan to watch any of the live streaming content?

1. Yes                                                  43

2. No                                                   48

3. Don’t know                                    10

4. Would you be more likely to buy a product advertised during the Olympics, less likely or does it make no difference?

1. More likely                                         5

2. Less likely                                           5

3. No difference                                   87

4. Don’t know                                        3

5. The NBA has proposed a plan for sports gambling to the NY State Senate that would include the league receiving one percent of all wagers and allow wagering on handheld devices and in kiosks as opposed to just casinos and racetracks. Do you think a professional sports league should be taking such an active role in promoting the legalization of sports gambling?

1. Yes                                                  16

2. No                                                   69

3. Don’t know/No opinion               14

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