Hosted by Seth Everett & Rick Gentile. The poll has surveyed the nation's populous on matters of interest, such as PED use, gambling, & key sports figures
April 2018 (Baseball)
By a 2-1 margin, and In the first measurement of “speed-up” rule changes initiated this year by Major League Baseball, 46% of Americans believe that these changes, especially limiting visits to the mound, will make the game feel like it’s going faster. Only 24% said it would not feel faster, (31% had no opinion.)
The Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted last week after three weeks of this season had concluded, presented a positive endorsement for MLB of its changes.
The poll showed 53% saying games took too long, with 40% disagreeing. When the same question was asked by the Seton Hall Sports Poll in 2011, only 44% said the games took too long, with 51% disagreeing. The “feel” of the games having a faster pace was important to officials at MLB during the winter, when the changes were approved.
By 3 to 1, a rule that was implemented only on the minor league level was soundly booed by respondents. The minors are experimenting with allowing a runner to be stationed at second base to start an extra inning, but only 20% said they favored that at the Major League level, and 60% disdained it.
Baseball still has at least a perception problem when it comes to performance enhancing drugs, with 39% saying they believe the problem still exists, with 31% disagreeing.
Asked if big market clubs have an advantage in acquiring the best free agent players, 80% said yes, compared to 84% when the poll asked the same question seven years ago.
The poll asked whether there are not enough African-American players in the Major Leagues, a question that was also asked in 2011. Attitudes have shifted over seven years: Among white respondents this year, 27% felt there were not enough; while 43% disagreed. Among African-American respondents, 61% agreed while only 19% disagreed.
April 2018 (Gambling)
By a margin of 55% - 35%, the American public favors legalized betting on sports events, according to a poll conducted this week by the Seton Hall Sports Poll.
And by a margin of 48% - 42%, those same respondents feel that legalized betting would negatively impact the integrity of sporting events. Even among those favoring legalized gambling, one of three believes that it would have a negative impact.
The poll also asked whether people feel that sports betting should be controlled by individual states, or by the federal government. (The U.S. Supreme Court is about to rule on that issue). 62% said it should be under state control, with 27% saying the federal government should control it.
Broken down by gender, men are much more inclined to support legalized betting, with 63% saying yes. Only 47% of women favored legalized betting. Approval fell significantly by age, with 68% support from ages 18-29, down to 37% at age 60 and over. Similarly, the support number fell based on level of education, with 71% supporting legalized gambling among those who did not finish high school, to 39% for those with post-graduate degrees.
Those who favor legalized betting think it should cover both professional and college sports by a margin of 49% - 36%.
February 2018 (Olympics, South Korea, NBA)
Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to remain seated as the combined North and South Korean teams entered the stadium during Olympic Opening Ceremonies received a harsh rebuke from the American public - by 3-to-1, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week. A strong 66% said the gesture was not appropriate, with only 18% supporting the decision. People in the 18-44 age bracket disapproved by 72%-14%, while older people, by 60% to 22% - were somewhat more supportive - but still strongly opposed.
The poll was conducted this week with random calls to 775 adults on landlines and cellphones across the country, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%.
As for the Olympic Games themselves, 17% named “streaming” as the manner in which they mostly watched the Games, and while 54% named NBC’s primetime coverage, the 17% is significant for the communications industry as a breakthrough number. (12% named “other TV networks” as their most preferred option).
Meanwhile, as far as general interest in the Winter Olympics, only 9% say their interest in greater, while 18% say it is less than previously. But among those 18-29, coveted by advertisers, interest was greater among 20%, with only single digits in older age groups (7% in the 30-44 category, 6% among 45-59 and 7% among 60+).
66% said it didn’t matter whether they were viewing an event live or delayed. And 66% also said that NBC has done a good job of generating interest in the Games.
This is the first Olympics in many years without Matt Lauer’s presence in the morning, and Bob Costas serving as host in prime time. 16% said the evening coverage was “not as good” without Costas, and 11% said morning coverage was “not as good” without Lauer.
January/February 2018 - Olympics, Gymnastics Sex Assault Scandal, NBA Gambling
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.
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.
January/February 2018 - NFL Viewership Declines and the Super Bowl
Reflecting a season-long decline in viewership, a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week shows 54% of Americans planning on watching Sunday’s Super Bowl, down from 68% when the same question was asked two years ago. Interestingly, of those who identified themselves as people who “closely follow” the NFL, 16% say they won’t be watching.
Another factor might be the return of the New England Patriots, with 20% of the population feeling less inclined to root for them. 12% said they were more inclined, and 62% said there was no difference. Another slow trend that the league and broadcasters are surely watching is the migration of viewers from traditional TV to alternate devices. In 2016, 98% said they would be watching the game on television - this year, the number is down to 90%, with 10% citing other devices or a combination of TV and other devices.
22% said they were most looking forward to the game’s commercials, with 61% most looking forward to the game, and 14% the halftime show Among men, 76% said they most looked forward to the game, and 11% the commercials. Among women, 47% cited “the game,” and 32% “commercials.” 60% of the population said they watched the commercials more closely than on other TV shows, and a third of African-American respondents said they most looked forward to the halftime show.
November/December 2017 - Joe Morgan on PED Users in Baseball Hall of Fame
By a margin of 49% - 35%, Americans have said “no” to the inclusion of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The two have not yet been elected by the Baseball Writers, who are voting now for the 2018 inductees. Both seemingly had Hall of Fame credentials even before their linkage to performance enhancing drugs.
The poll also showed Americans agreeing with Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, who sent a letter to voters saying players named as PED users should not be elected. 62% supported Morgan’s position, with only 26% opposing.