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Report: 74.24 percent of football fans prefer watching on TV


Just the other day we noted the decline in football attendance in the first month of the season. FBS football games are down 3 percent compared to this point of the season last fall, and down six percent from 2011. There are always a number of factors that go in to those numbers. How many games are played in the largest stadiums in the country is often part of the equation, as are the costs tied to attending games such as parking, food and beverage inside the stadium (and of course the traditional selections for before and after the game), as well as tolls. It adds up.

This is why many fans may prefer to watching football on television, from the comfort of home. According to data compiled for a survey by Team Marketing Report, 74.24 percent of those who responded said they prefer to watch football on TV over attending a game in person. The data is supported by the notion that football is viewed as the best sport to watch on TV. A total of 78.79 percent of those who responded said football is better than baseball, hockey and basketball on television.

None of this comes off as too surprising. While this nation clearly loves football, the benefits of watching at home outweigh many of the benefits to attending a game in person for many. Instant replay, the ability to switch from one game to another (and to another and to another etc.) adds options just not available in a stadium.

There are many benefits to attending a game in person though that can not be captured through television. The traditional pre-game show performance by the home team’s marching band is as much of the tradition and pageantry that makes college football unique as anything, and it is rarely broadcast on television. Instead, those at home get to hear some talking heads tell you all about the news that has been covered during the week by multiple outlets, including this one. At key moments in a game there is a certain buzz inside a stadium that does not quite translate on TV either, as good as the technology is.

What side of this are you on? Would you rather see a game in person or watch from the couch or recliner on a Saturday afternoon?

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17 Responses to “Report: 74.24 percent of football fans prefer watching on TV”
  1. Deb says: Oct 3, 2013 6:03 PM

    Yes, given how the stadium experience has deteriorated while home viewing has improved, I’d rather watch on TV. But that Big Screen “You Are There” feeling wouldn’t be as much fun without a stadium crowd cheering and drawing you into the event. We may reach the point where teams will have to pay fans to attend and help create the experience that attracts large television audiences and lucrative advertisers.

  2. drummerhoff says: Oct 3, 2013 6:09 PM

    I might add, unless you’re sitting between the 30s, sometimes you can’t tell if its a 20 yard gain or a 2 yard loss.

  3. harleyspoon says: Oct 3, 2013 6:19 PM

    A major reason for the continuing decline in attendance is the extremely powerful teams playing extremely weak teams in the non-conference part of their schedules…The outcome of those games is rarely in doubt…

    For those who call themselves fans, if they want to maintain or enhance the results of recruiting at the universities they support, they better get their butts in the stadiums. Recruits can’t tell who “fans” are watching on television but they can see who supports who by the number of energetic “fans” in the stadium when they have their campus recruiting visits…

    Sparse crowds tell recruits that the school they are visiting lacks rabid support. Packed stadiums indicate that no matter what, the fans will be there loud and gung ho!!

  4. ajarkoski says: Oct 3, 2013 6:28 PM

    Agree with all. The prices are too expensive and the only ones available are in the nose bleed seats or end zone. It is very nice at home with instant replay, controlled weather conditions, food and beverages reaonaly available at the right price and the comfortable seats are unmatched. At the stadiums, they crowd you into rows of seats, with some drunk idiots yelling, someone smoking weed, people spilling their drinks while complaining, etc. Oh wait, that does happen at our house.

    P.S. The stadium atmosphere is quite an experience though.

  5. cometkazie says: Oct 3, 2013 6:36 PM

    I had LSU season tickets from 1971 thru 1993.

    Much rather stay at home.

  6. jaydm84 says: Oct 3, 2013 6:49 PM

    Does this take into account the proximity to your team? If I lived near UF I would be at every game. But since I have to drive 6-7 hours to get there I can only go to 3 or 4 each year. I will agree that if you’ve played football it’s much easier to watch plays develop on TV. Also, no drinking and driving.

  7. jkulha86 says: Oct 3, 2013 7:20 PM

    I’d like to be able to attend games, but the cost keeps me on the couch. For a family of 3, the price of tickets, parking, food, souvenirs, gas, and possibly lodging, you’re easily looking at several hundred dollars. That’s almost a trip to the beach, or to disney. In my household, the beach and Mickey Mouse win every time.

  8. mcjon22 says: Oct 3, 2013 7:58 PM

    Pro yes, college no.

    Nothing tops the atmosphere of a big college game. A lot of the issues fans have going to the games is cost for one. But the main problem IMO is that the pro game has become a drunk fest. I’m not paying $80 to sit next to a drunkard cussing and screaming for 3 hours

  9. alligatorsnapper says: Oct 3, 2013 8:26 PM

    Cost. A friend paid $1800 for tickets for several home games, and $1400 for others. That does not include the refreshments which are not cheap. I have usually obtained my tickets well in advance, but if you wait until your local team is sold out and the ticket agencies buy up big chunks, you can get a ticket but you will pay big $$$$.

    Parking prices at pro games or the bowl games can be exorbitant. Now that most games enforce the NFL rules on what you can bring in, you no longer can bring in much of anything, no umbrellas, a thin parka which will only keep dew off, and practically nothing else.

    The fan is being priced out of the stadiums. Corporations are buying tickets up for their salespeople, executives, or as incentives for their customers. The rest are highly priced. I never thought about it, but I think Deb may be right about eventually fans being paid to fill the stadiums.

  10. porklift says: Oct 3, 2013 11:18 PM

    I just don’t find the marching bands that enjoyable. It’s not a draw at all. If they got rid of that, the games would be shorter. They need a lot more than a marching band together me there. Also, the seating in stadiums can be horrible. I don’t want to sit on bleachers where I don’t have any leg room.

  11. Anoesis says: Oct 3, 2013 11:41 PM

    jaydm84 raises a valid point, the first thing I thought of upon seeing the headline. Distance to the nearest stadium would have a very large influence on who’d be likely to go and who’d stay home and watch on TV.

    Another consideration would be the type of community hosting a game. Is it in a large metropolitan area or in more of a college town?

    With this stagnant economy I can see where there wouldn’t be too much debate between spending a few thousand dollars on tickets to the stadium and investing that money instead on a nice home entertainment system and a subscription to see as many games as you can stand.

  12. skwackquackwoof says: Oct 4, 2013 7:29 AM

    Another consideration is who your team is. Autzen is a pretty nice place, Texas Memorial isn’t bad either, Moscow Idaho (?)… not so much. Also if you don’t like marching bands there is a league called the NFL.

  13. cometkazie says: Oct 4, 2013 7:42 AM

    porklift says:
    Oct 3, 2013 11:18 PM
    I just don’t find the marching bands that enjoyable. It’s not a draw at all. If they got rid of that, the games would be shorter. They need a lot more than a marching band together me there. Also, the seating in stadiums can be horrible. I don’t want to sit on bleachers where I don’t have any leg room.

    For me, the most exciting part of LSU games was when the band went into their formation and played “Hold that Tiger” to each of the cardinal directions. We in the South End Zone (always capitalized) always out-roared the rest of the stadium.

    If you have never seen the aTm Marching Band, you have missed a real treat.

    My seats were directly opposite the visiting band and I really looked forward to the Ole Miss and that institution in Tuscaloosa bands. They always sounded great, much better than the others.

  14. thehawg says: Oct 4, 2013 9:15 AM

    I rather watch a game at a local sports bar.

  15. keltictim says: Oct 4, 2013 10:47 AM

    A few pros and cons of going to the mighty Williams Brice Stadium. Pro parking is mostly free as long as you don’t mind a little walking, and the close up parking is pretty affordable compared to some other event locations I’ve been to. Pro, the ore game ritual is pretty spectacular to behold. From the players walking in to cocky bursting out of his cage it’s pretty cool. Pro, the shared fan experience. When sandstorm comes on and the towels are waving , everyone going nuts, it’s pretty cool. Con, no alcohol sales. If you pre game hard then try to make it the whole game without another drink it can be pretty tough. Con, food prices/selections. I’d much rather be able to enjoy the food I want at a much much cheaper price. Stale nachos covered in a weird cheese like sauce is not always high on my list. Con, bathrooms. I don’t think that needs an explanation. Con, traffic to and from. They do a really good job here in columbia but it’s still a pain in the butt. Con, idiot fans. At least at home if someone’s being an idiot I know him/her and generally like him. I can’t stand sitting next to someone screaming “why didn’t they run the ball” when there’s an incomplete pass on third and very long. Con/pro smoking. I am a smoker, most stadiums are smoke free this is a con for me but a pro for non smokers. Overall I do enjoying going to a game or two a season and viewing the rest at home, to me that’s the perfect balance.

  16. ninerfan81 says: Oct 4, 2013 10:47 AM

    If you’re an alumni or lifelong fan there is nothing like being in the stadium to support your team with thousands of others who love(or hate) your team right there with you. It’s irreplaceable, but if you have a family, that’s really expensive to get everyone there, feed them, then take them home, it’s really becoming harder to do that. Its scary to think what sports will look like in 30 years, I hope someone has the courage to build a SMALLER stadium, with a really intimate feel that revolutionizes the way we watch in person.

  17. Deb says: Oct 4, 2013 6:07 PM

    thehawg says:

    I rather watch a game at a local sports bar.

    That’s a good point, too. Years ago–before DirecTV and Redzone–when my brother was an undergrad at USF, he used to go to this hole-in-the-wall bar to watch Steelers games. I’d go down for the weekend for big games, and after church, we’d put on our Steeler jerseys and head for this dive. It was a blast watching with all the diehard Steelers fans.

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