Nearly 40 Percent of NCAA Tournament Viewers Will Watch Online; Twenty-two Percent of Those Who Watch Will Do so at Work

South Orange NJ, March 21, 2019 – As Americans increasingly turn to online devices to follow news and sports, a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week reveals that 38 percent of those who will be watching the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament will do so either entirely or partially online.

The poll was asked of 606 adult Americans on both landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of +/- 4.1%.

Of the men’s tournament, 38 percent of all Americans said they would be watching at least part of the coverage. Split by gender, 49 percent of men said they would be watching the tournament, and 29 percent of women said they would be watching.

Twenty-two percent of all respondents who will be watching also said they will watch the tournament while at work; among males that number rises to 29 percent.

Women’s Tournament

As for the Women’s Tournament, 24 percent of Americans said they would watch at least part of the coverage, with 29 percent of males saying they would, and 21 percent of females saying they would.


On a question of whether the players are paid for participation (they are not), only 5% said that would make the tournament more interesting, 17 percent said it would be less interesting, and 76 percent said it would make no difference.

“Even with lawsuits emerging and the subject being more frequently addressed, there is surprisingly little difference in this result than when we asked the question four years ago,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is conducted by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. (In 2015, 7 percent said more interested, 14 percent said less, and 79 percent said no difference).

College Grads More Interested in Tournament?

On a question of whether college graduates have more interest in the men’s tournament than those who did not graduate college, 50 percent of graduates said they would be watching the tournament, with 35 percent of those who did not graduate college saying they would be watching it. For the women’s tournament, 27 percent of college graduates and 23 percent of non-graduates said they would be watching.

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile can be found at


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Seton Hall embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 110-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received more than 30 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholarship. The University is also proud to be the third most diverse national Catholic university in the nation.

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About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone March 18-20 among 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 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,; Rick Gentile (917) 881-9489
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall
The results:


  1. Do you plan to watch any part of the upcoming coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament?

Total              Male     Female

1 – Yes                                                          38         49              29

2 – No                                                          61         51              70





  1. Will you be watching tournament coverage just on TV, just online, or sometimes on TV and sometimes online (OF THOSE WATCHING)


1 – Just TV                                                   61         52              76

2 – Just online                                             5          7              2

3 – Sometimes TV and sometimes online33          41              21



  1. Will you watch any portion of the games while you are at work?


1 – Yes                                                          22         29              13

2 – No                                                          77         71              88



  1. Are you participating in any pools involving money for this year’s NCAA Tournament?


1 – Yes                                                          9          14              4

2 – No                                                          90         85              96





  1. If college players competing in the NCAA Tournament were paid a salary instead of receiving a scholarship would you be more interested in the event, less interested or would it make no difference?


1 – More interested                                    5          7              3

2 – Less interested                                      17         17              17

3 – No difference                                        76         73              78



  1. Do you plan to watch any part of the upcoming coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament?


1 – Yes                                                          24         29              21

2 – No                                                          73         70              76



  1. How closely would you say you follow sports, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?


1 – Very closely                                           15         21              9

2 – Closely                                                   28         29              28

3 – Not closely                                             33         31              36

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