Tag Archives: World Series

Balls and Strikes Via Computer? Baseball Fans Shout ‘Keep the Umpire’

75% say they prefer an umpire to a computer making balls and strikes call; one third think undetected drugs are driving all those homers

South Orange, NJ, October 26, 2017 — In a week in which a record number of home runs were hit in a single World Series game…..and post-season coverage provides continuous use of the strike zone boundaries for each pitch….fans are clear that they want umpires – and not a computer – calling balls and strikes…..but also suspicious of the use of performing enhancing drugs driving all those homers.

These were among the findings in the latest Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted this week across the nation among 715 adults, on landlines and cellphones.  The baseball data is based on the 62% of respondents that follow baseball and has a margin of error of 4.8%.

Perhaps driven by the umpire calls when the strike zone box is up, (or perhaps just by being traditionalists), a strong 75% preferred that the umpire make the ball-strike calls, with only 11% opting for computer calls.  (14% had no opinion).

“Either fans are leaning toward the more traditional way of doing things or they simply don’t want to give up their God-given right to bash the umpire for missing ball and strike calls,” said Rick Gentle, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute as part of the university’s Stillman School of Business.”

On the matter of home runs, of which a record number were hit this season in the Major Leagues, respondents were asked to say “yes” or “no” to a variety of factors.

Reasons for Record Number of Home Runs:

 

Yes      No

A more lively ball                               29        40

Undetected use of PEDs                   31        46

Improved batting techniques          62        20

Hitters more focused on HRs           55        24

Bad pitching                                        28        48

“While performance enhancing drugs are not among the top reasons, the fact that nearly 1 in 3 fans think it’s still part of the game should be alarming to the Commissioner’s Office,” noted  Gentile.

“Obviously the balls are juiced,” Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel told USA Today, today.  “I think they’re juiced 100%.”

On pace-of-play, another much discussed issue among baseball people, fans were pretty evenly divided, favoring by 43%-40% a rule restricting in-inning mound meetings….but stayed traditional on limiting in-inning pitching changes, voting “no” by 57%-26%.

“The latter would be a major rule change which would need approval of the player’s union as well as the Commissioner’s Office, and clearly among fans, there is no desire to go there,” said Gentile.

The Poll also asked,  “how often would you say you watch an entire live post-season baseball game,” with 45% saying “occasionally,” 26% saying “often” and 17% saying “never”.

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile will be posted later today.

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

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 October 23-25 among 715 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. How closely would you say you follow baseball, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?
    1. Very closely 11
    2. Closely 23
    3. Not closely 30
    4. Not at all 37

 

(IF “NOT AT ALL” SKIP TO DEMOGRAPHICS)

  1. This season, more home runs were hit in the major leagues than ever in history. Please tell me which of the following reasons you think could be responsible, a more lively ball?
    1. Yes 29
    2. No 40
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 32

 

  1. Undetected use of performance enhancing drugs by players
    1. Yes 31
    2. No 46
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 23

 

  1. Improved batting techniques
    1. Yes 62
    2. No 20
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 19

 

  1. Hitters more focused on home run hitting
    1. Yes 55
    2. No 24
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 22
  2. Bad pitching
  3. Yes 28
  4. No 48
  5. Don’t know/No opinion 25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. How often would you say you watch an entire live post-season baseball game, often, occasionally or never?
    1. Often 26
    2. Occasionally 45
    3. Never 17
    4. Don’t know/No opinion 12

 

 

 

  1. Would you be in favor of a rule restricting the number of in-inning mound meetings in an attempt to speed up the game?
    1. Yes 43
    2. No 40
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 17

 

  1. Would you be in favor of a rule restricting the number in-inning pitching changes in an attempt to speed up the game?
    1. Yes 26
    2. No 57
    3. Don’t know 17

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Would you like to see balls and strikes called by a computer rather than an umpire behind home plate?
    1. Computer 11
    2. Umpire 75
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 14

 

 

Cord Cutting Can Wait – 98 Percent Watched Super Bowl on TV; Public Says Brady ‘Best Ever’

South Orange, NJ, February 9, 2017 – An era of cord-cutting may loom in the future, but for now, traditional television viewing of the Super Bowl has a firm grasp on the American public. According to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week in the days after the game, a whopping 98% watched on TV, with only a combined 1% – barely – watching on phone, tablet or computer.

The poll was conducted February 6-8 among 661 adults across the country on both landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of 3.9 %.

“It’s the biggest event of the year in America, and people want to watch it on their biggest and most reliable device,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.

Meanwhile, asked if Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history, 63% of those who identified as sports fans agreed with only 19% disagreeing. Of those who said they were NFL fans, 51% agreed, and 21% disagreed. Among the general population, 39% agreed, with only 21% disagreeing.

“These are remarkably high numbers, given the controversies surrounding him – a large dislike for the New England Patriots, his suspension over ‘deflategate’ and his support of a controversial President,” said Gentile.

In the excitement following the first overtime in Super Bowl history and the fifth Super Bowl win for the Patriots, 44% found the game the most compelling of recent championships, with Game 7 of the World Series registering 26% and the college football championship (Alabama-Clemson) at 11%.

“For the World Series to be named by one out of four Americans, three months after it ended and in the days after a thrilling Super Bowl is great news for baseball,” added Gentile.

Asked if they saw any commercials during the game that made them want to purchase the advertised product, 83% said no, and 12% yes.

“People generally don’t acknowledge that commercials influence their buying,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.  “Of course, their purchasing habits show the opposite – advertising drives sales. And 12% of the viewing public is a very large number. Advertisers should be pleased.”

7% said they enjoyed the commercials the most, but 13% named the halftime show and 72% said “the game” when asked what they enjoyed the most.

A commercial for GNC, the vitamin chain which sells substances banned by the NFL, was not shown. Asked whether GNC should have been allowed to advertise in the game, given that the banned products were not mentioned, 50% said yes they should have been allowed, with 23% saying no.

10% acknowledged wagering on the game (either through a bet, a pool or a fantasy league) and 84% said they had no wager on the game. 15% said they would have bet if wagering was legal.

A podcast in which Seth Everett interview Rick Gentile can be heard at https://t.co/bqIjtpjD64

 

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

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 February 6-8 among 661 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 3.4 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: Marty Appel Public Relations, AppelPR@gmail.com;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall University,
michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu

 

The results:

  1. Did you watch the Super Bowl game on Sunday?
  2. Yes 72%
  3. No 28

(IF NO SKIP TO QUESTION 6)

 

  1. Where did you watch the game? (Don’t read options)
  2. At home 75
  3. At a friend’s house 17
  4. In a bar or restaurant 5
  5. Somewhere else  3

 

  1. What was the primary device you used to watch the game, a TV, phone, tablet or computer?
  2. TV 98
  3. Phone 0
  4. Tablet 0
  5. Computer 1
  6. Other 1

 

  1. Which did you enjoy more, the game, the halftime or the commercials?
  2. Game 72
  3. Halftime 13
  4. Commercials 7
  5. Don’t Know 7

 

  1. Did you see any commercials during the broadcast that made you want to purchase the product advertised?
  2. Yes 12
  3. No 83
  4. Don’t know 5

 

  1. Did you place a bet on the outcome of the game, participate in a pool, engage in fantasy play or not wager any money on the game?
  2. Bet  5
  3. Pool 4
  4. Fantasy 1
  5. No Wager 84
  6. Don’t Know/No Ans. 7

 

  1. If sports gambling was legal in your state would you have placed a bet on the game?
  2. Yes 15
  3. No 79
  4. Don’t know 6

 

  1. Tom Brady is being called the greatest quarterback in NFL history after winning his 5th Super

Bowl. Do you agree, disagree or are you not sure?

  1. Agree 39
  2. Disagree 21
  3. Not Sure 35
  4. Don’t Know 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. GNC, a maker of dietary supplements, was forced by the NFL to withdraw its commercial from the Super Bowl because it makes some products that NFL players are banned from taking. No mention of the banned products occurred in the commercial. Do you think GNC should have been allowed to advertise in the game given that the banned products were not mentioned?
  2. Yes 50
  3. No 23
  4. Don’t know 27

 

  1. Which event did you think was more compelling, the Super Bowl, the college football championship or the 7th game of the World Series?
  2. Super Bowl 44
  3. College championships 11
  4. World Series 26
  5. Don’t Know 19

 

  1. How closely would you say you follow sports, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?
  2. Very closely 19
  3. Closely 33
  4. Not closely 33
  5. Not at all 16

 

  1. Do you consider yourself a fan of NFL football?
  2. Yes 56
  3. No 40
  4. Don’t know 5

 

 

Sports Poll Podcast, with Rick Gentile and Seth Everett 11.21.16

IBM Computer TechnicianClick below to hear or download a discussion on the findings of the most recent Seton Hall Sports Poll release– featuring veteran sportscaster and analyst Seth Everett with Rick Gentile, Director of the Sports Poll and 10 time Emmy Award winner for his work as Executive Producer and Senior Vice President of CBS Sports.

Streaming link : http://tobtr.com/9624753

Download : https://t.co/1Ao9Tijmcj

Seton Hall Sports Poll Reveals Nation Sides with Obama’s Caution on Sons Playing Football vs. Trump’s Feeling that ‘Head on Tackles are Incredible to Watch’

Fans Who Say they Watch Less Football Cite National Anthem Protest as Principal Reason

South Orange, NJ, November 17, 2016 — This week’s Seton Hall Sports Poll, asked Americans how they felt about the concussion/head injury issue in football.

People were asked if they most agreed with President Obama’s feelings about having to think twice about letting a son play football, or President-elect Trump’s statement that head-on-tackles in the NFL are incredible to watch and the league has gone too soft on the issue of head injuries. 59% agreed with the Obama position while only 23% agreed with the Trump statement.

By gender, women agreed with Obama over Trump by 66%-17%, and men agreed with Obama by 52%-29%.

“That is a decisive margin, and belies the embrace the nation’s voters show for Trump’s generally tough stances,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.

The results came from the poll conducted this week among 913 landline and cellphone adult users across the US. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.3%.

Meanwhile, the poll asked respondents if they were watching less football, and if so, asked for reasons. 25% cited the protests during the national anthem, 10% said the match-ups aren’t as good, 10% cited too many commercial interruptions, 8% said “too many games on TV,” and 3% said “more interested in election.” 44% indicated either another choice (unnamed) or no opinion.

As for Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco quarterback who triggered the national anthem protests, 50% expressed disapproval over his deciding not to vote in the presidential election, with only 14% showing approval. Only 30% of African-Americans disapproved compared to 58% of white respondents.

By a 2-1 margin (61% to 30%), respondents citied the Trump election victory as more surprising than the Chicago Cubs world championship. The Cubs, of course, had not won in 108 years – but no American president had ever gained the presidency from a business and non-political (or wartime) background.

The poll also asked who would be a better role model, 29% said college athletes, 21% said pro athletes, and 9% said politicians. It is worth noting that 42% said “none” or “don’t know” without those selections being offered by pollsters.

GOOD NEWS FOR MLB – SERIES MADE ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS

INTERESTED IN FOLLOWING BASEBALL MORE AVIDLY

There was good news for Major League Baseball amongst the findings – 19% the country said that the Cubs victory made them more interested in following baseball.

“For any sports league to have a single event that might turn that many people into more avid fans is a remarkable achievement,” said Gentile.  “At first glance, one might say, ‘well, it’s only 19%’, but in raw numbers – a fifth of the population is a tremendous number for MLB.”

Rick Gentile will be interviewed by Seth Everett for a podcast on the poll’s findings.

 

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

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 November 14-16 among 913 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 3.4 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 Public Relations, AppelPR@gmail.com;
Seton Hall Associate Director of Media Relations, michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu
Office Phone: 973-378-9845

Cell Phone: 862-520-9639

 

The results

 

  1. Whom do you think make better role models, politicians, professional athletes or collegiate athletes?
  2. Politicians 9%
  3. Pro athletes 21
  4. College athletes 29
  5. None 35
  6. Don’t know 7

 

  1. Which event would you say surprised you the most, the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series or Donald Trump winning the presidential election?
  2. Cubs 30
  3. Trump 61
  4. Neither 5
  5. Don’t know 3

 

  1. Has the Cubs’ victory in the World Series made you more interested in following baseball?
  2. Yes 19
  3. No 77
  4. Don’t know 4

 

  1. President Obama has said if he had a son he would have to think twice about letting him play football because of potential head injuries. President-elect Trump has said head-on tackles in the NFL are incredible to watch and the league has gone too soft on the issue of head injuries. Which position do you most agree with?
  2. Obama 59
  3. Trump 23
  4. Neither 10
  5. Don’t know 8

 

  1. Why have you watched fewer NFL games? Please pick your main reason from the following.
  2. Match-ups aren’t as good 10
  3. Too many games on TV 8
  4. More interested in the election 3
  5. Too many commercial interruptions 10
  6. The protests during the national anthem 25
  7. Other 37
  8. Don’t know  7

 

  1. Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player who sparked the national anthem protests, refused to vote in the recent Presidential Election, also in protest. Do you approve, disapprove or have no opinion about this decision?
  2. Approve 14
  3. Disapprove 50
  4. No Opinion 36

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roughly Half Say Sports Events and Presidential Election Could Be ‘Rigged’

South Orange, NJ, October 31, 2016 – With the word “rigged” being thrown about in this election season, the Seton Hall Sports Poll asked Americans if they felt that sports contests and the upcoming presidential election “could be rigged by outside influences.”

A majority, though in some cases slim, said “yes, they could be rigged.”

sports-poll-10-31-16-riggedThe results: 52% said “yes” that an NFL game “could be rigged by outside influences” with 42% saying “no.” For an NBA game, 51% said yes; 42% no.

For college sports the margins were closer: for a college football game, it was 47% yes, 46% no, and for a college basketball game, it was 46% yes, 45% no.

Of all the questions asked, only baseball’s World Series, taking place as the poll was conducted, had a majority that believed its games could not be “fixed,” with only 42% saying “yes” and 51% saying “no.”

And pointedly, 47% of Americans said “yes” a presidential election “could be rigged by outside influences,” while 46% said “no”.

In each case, between 7-9% said they did not know.

The poll was conducted last week – October 24-26 – among 841 adults (landline and cellphone) with a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.

Asked whether the presidential election “could be rigged,” 47% said yes, and there is a great deal of overlap in the people that believe in rigging – of that 47%, some two-thirds said yes, the NFL or NBA could be rigged, and somewhat fewer – 57% – said the World Series could be rigged.

“The sports organizing bodies rely heavily on the public believing that their games are honest,” said Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “This measurement of public perception certainly can’t please them, just as people in government are so upset about Donald Trump’s charges.”

The poll also asked whether some teams having ownership positions with fantasy sports companies opens the door for the rigging of performances of professional athletes to affect the daily fantasy outcomes.  45% said yes, 32% said no, with 24% stating “don’t know.”

Rick Gentile was interviewed by Seth Everett for a podcast on the poll’s findings, which can be heard at https://t.co/jShJhGXMWi

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

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 October 24-26 among 841 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 3.4 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 Public Relations, AppelPR@gmail.com;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall University, michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu, 908-447-3034

Seton Hall Sports Poll Update

Seth Everett gives the latest Seton Hall SportsPoll update: MLB’s World Series vs. NFL; interesting result for sports stadium billboard sponsorship and perceived effect (1 minute, 27 seconds).

Baseball: The Most Excruciating Sport

20151101_230723If boxing is the cruelest sport (it is), then baseball is, perhaps, the most excruciating. In the middle of July in the midst of a 162 game season it is excruciating in the sense that it seems as though it will never end: the teams trudge through summer in a schedule designed for attrition.

In September and October, with the playoffs at hand, it is excruciating because it will end – or could end – with the very next pitch.

With the drama distilled and rolled up into a little ball – focused and traveling at 97 mph— there is nothing quite like a full count on a batter with the game and maybe the entire season on the line. Nothing quite like a playoff game (never mind a World Series game) when your team is playing, and almost every pitch feels that way. The entirety of a year’s work (pitchers and catchers report in February) resting on and rolled into a series of moments—the next moment.

It waits. And in that waiting, that time before the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd, lies the beauty of baseball: an anticipation, a dread even, that has built to a fine point over a period of a year—or decades, or 107 years if you’re a Cubs fan.

Nearly unbearable at times, playoff baseball is, in short, dramatic.

And this has been, by almost all accounts, the most exciting World Series in years. But relatively few people are watching.

A recent Seton Hall Sports Poll found a strong gain for Major League Baseball’s World Series:

That’s a shift in differential from 34 to 12% — with an effective upward movement for baseball of 22 points.

That, coupled with a Game One this year that had the highest TV ratings for a World Series game in 5 years, represents a strong gain for Major League Baseball.

But as Jason Notte notes in his article at Marketwatch: “This is the most exciting World Series no one is watching,” viewership for baseball’s biggest games is decidedly lackluster in comparison with its own illustrious history and, contemporaneously, other sports. He also notes that “baseball has problems with demographics and how playoff games are broadcast.”

He is right. As Rich Hoffman, Sports Editor at the Philadelphia Daily News posits:

But there’s hope. I watched game 4 on Saturday night with my girlfriend’s 17 year old son. He is not a baseball fan. He plays the guitar, works on cars, spends an inordinate amount of time on his phone and watches football and basketball. We rooted for the Mets. As the game progressed and I cheered and cursed in turn, he turned to me and said, a number of times with a big smile on his face: “I can’t believe how exciting this is. It’s soooo tense. I don’t know what to say.”

Nothing to say, really— it’s post season baseball.

But there is a question to be asked: With a product that good, how didn’t he know? What is MLB’s marketing strategy for people who aren’t “about the average age”?

Notte concludes: “Baseball has gone from a national pastime to a niche, and neither it nor its World Series are going to work their way back until they become more accessible.”

I’m not sure niche is quite the right word here. Boxing is niche. I’ve written about boxing for The Guardian, 15Rounds.com, Queensbury Rules (named a Top 25 blog by Time magazine, but you’ve almost certainly never heard of it), the Daily Record and the Asbury Park Press. When I look for boxing news and go to a general sports source such as ESPN.com, BleacherReport or SBNation, my sport is listed under “Other” or “More.”

Baseball still holds a place in the header, but Notte has a point— and MLB should listen, and build upon the tenuous gains it’s made— or risk finding itself relegated in the popular consciousness and sports pages to “Other.”

World Series vs. NFL? Strong Gain for Baseball Shown in Preference

South Orange, NJ, October 29, 2015 — The World Series, which will go head-to-head against the NFL this Sunday (if a fifth game is necessary), has shown strong growth in such a match-up in the opinion of the American public, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week.

While a regular season NFL game is preferred over a World Series game by a 48%-36% margin, when Seton Hall asked the question five years ago, the NFL margin was 56%-22%. That is a shift from a 34% to 12% differential, and seems to match the ratings for Tuesday night’s Game One of the World Series, which was the highest in five years.

There were no clear differences in the percentages based on whether a baseball or a football game was being played on the day the question was asked.

“This is a strong trend for baseball,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “Despite the absence of household name stars in this year’s Kansas City-New York Mets matchup, the public is finding the games compelling.”

The Poll was conducted this week (October 26-28) among 820 random adults called on landlines and cellphones across the country. There is a margin of error of 3.5%.

Asked which they expected to be more competitive, the World Series or the political debate, 49% said the debate and 41% said the World Series. (The vast majority of respondents answered prior to the airing of the debate on CNBC, which began at 8 pm eastern time on the final day of polling).

In other findings, 45% felt the World Series takes place too late in the year (vs. 37% saying it was fine to end in November). When asked two years ago, 53% said it takes place too late, and 36% said it was okay as is.

59% said it didn’t matter if a baseball player acts out with a demonstrative gesture in a game (such as a bat flip or a pitcher’s gesture after a strikeout). 17% felt that was good for baseball and 15% said it was bad for baseball.

VIEWING HABITS STILL LOCKED INTO ‘OLD MEDIA’
BILLBOARD SPONSORS HAVE VIEWER ATTENTION

Although there are growing varieties of ways to watch sports, 83% still choose television and 7% choose “in person,” leaving only 5% who usually watch streaming video and 5% “other” or “none.” Streaming video was launched back in 2000 when Rick Gentile produced the Paralympic Games from Sydney, Australia for WeMedia, but now, 15 years later, it remains a small piece of the viewership pie.

Good news for billboard sponsors – 44% of respondents said they pay attention to sponsor signs in the stadium. Asked if they are more or less likely to purchase a product they see sponsoring sports events, only 9% said more likely and 85% said “no difference.” (Advertisers would surely dispute this finding). 6% said they would be less likely.

Continue reading