ESPN: 78% support sports resuming without fans

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ESPN has shared findings from the second wave of its ESPN Coronavirus Lockdown Fan Study. The survey of 1,003 US sports fans ages 18+, fielded from June 23rd – 26th, was conducted to explore the latest perceptions around the pandemic and its impact on sports moving forward.

With MLS, NWSL, and UFC underway and MLB, the NBA and WNBA, NHL, U.S. Open tennis and more on the horizon, ESPN today has also released a new ‘There’s No Place Like Sports’ spot to herald the return of live sports.

“The insights we’ve gathered from fans tell us that the value and power of live sports has only grown stronger,” said Laura Gentile. SVP of Consumer Marketing, ESPN. “Never have so many sports collided at once. ESPN is, quite literally, the best seat in the house and the only place to catch it all. Pull up a couch. We’re back with the very best live sports and true to our mission we will continue to serve fans every step of the way.”

Among all fans surveyed in the study:

  • 78 per cent support professional and collegiate sports leagues resuming without fans in attendance, a double-digit increase from results in the first wave (68 per cent) and three times as many as those that oppose it (22 per cent).
  • 59 per cent say that they can’t wait to see sports back on television and plan to watch as much as they can (up from 56 per cent in April).
  • 64 per cent say the prolonged suspension of live sports has driven greater appreciation for them. Among avid fans, 84 per cent feel the same.

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