Essential Report

Interest in watching sports

Jan 30, 2018

Q. How exciting or boring would you say each of the following sports are to watch?

  Total exciting Total boring   Very exciting Quite exciting Neither exciting nor boring Quite boring Very boring Don’t know   Net (exciting-boring)
Tennis 45% 32% 15% 30% 21% 13% 19% 1%   +13
Swimming 36% 33% 7% 29% 30% 15% 18% 1%   +3
AFL football 40% 38% 20% 20% 21% 14% 24% 2%   +2
Gymnastics 31% 38% 8% 23% 30% 17% 21% 2%   -7
Athletics 29% 36% 5% 24% 33% 16% 20% 2%   -7
T20 cricket 38% 45% 16% 22% 16% 12% 33% 2% -7
Basketball 30% 41% 8% 22% 27% 17% 24% 2%   -11
Rugby League 31% 46% 12% 19% 21% 15% 31% 2%   -15
Soccer 30% 45% 11% 19% 23% 19% 26% 2%   -15
Formula 1 car racing 28% 48% 10% 18% 21% 18% 30% 2%   -20
Test cricket 28% 52% 8% 20% 19% 15% 37% 1% -24
Netball 19% 48% 3% 16% 29% 20% 28% 2%   -29
Horse racing 22% 52% 6% 16% 24% 18% 34% 2%   -30
Rugby Union 21% 53% 6% 15% 24% 19% 34% 2%   -32
Boxing 20% 54% 6% 14% 24% 18% 36% 3%   -34
Cycling 16% 58% 3% 13% 23% 22% 36% 2%   -42
Golf 13% 67% 3% 10% 19% 20% 47% 2% -54

 

 

 

Sports which were most likely to be considered exciting to watch were tennis (45%), AFL football (40%), T20 cricket (38%) and swimming (36%).

 

Sports which were most likely to be considered boring to watch were golf (67%), cycling (58%), boxing (54%), rugby union (53%), horse racing (52%) and test cricket (52%).

 

T20 cricket was the most polarising sport – that is, more people (83%) thought it was either exciting or boring and few (16%) had a neutral view.

 

There were some major differences between men and women.

Men were more likely to prefer watching test cricket (39% to 18% exciting), T20 cricket (48%/26%), F1 car racing (36%/22%), rugby league (38%/23%), soccer (38%/22%) and rugby union (28%/15%). 42% of women thought watching gymnastics was exciting compared to 21% of men.

COVID-19 RESEARCH

Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

Sign up for updates

Receive the Essential Report in your inbox.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.