Tennis is only the 13th favorite sports league/tournament in the US

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Most sports that are listed above tennis for the European countries are single events that conclude in maximum a month or so, or take place every two/four years.

Realistically Tennis is the "league" #5 in Italy (behind CL, UEFA League, Moto GP and F1), #5 in France (same, but instead of F1 there is League 1), #4 in UK (same minus Moto GP/etc). The surprise is Germany, where tennis is #9 even behind the 3rd League (Football). It also looks that Nadal's popularity is not what many here believe it is in Spain as there are also quite a few sports leagues that are above tennis there.

:cool:
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
The only tennis star with almost universal recognition and popularity is Federer in the States. Rafa would be next, Djokovic isn't even on the radar. Sadly, Americans tend to tune out if an American isn't at the top of the heap. Roddick was never particularly popular, after 2006 when Andre retired, interest in the sport has died with the exception of Roger. Tennis will not revive in the US until a young American star emerges, and the probability of that hovers around 0.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
Tennis will never have the same popularity as football or basketball for various reasons, it’s clear as day.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
And those are?
Not as much funding as NBA/NFL/MLB, not a guaranteed paycheck/contract, very mentally taxing, very little money for players outside top 100, colleges focusing on national instead of international play, nobody that really represents a specific state or part of the country, not much cultural connection, not much popularity in schools, low funding from schools that aren’t D1, generally seen as something only people who can afford a club can play(not true, but old stereotype) and probably a few more.
 
I know this will upset many, but being the 13th favorite sport(or whatever) in the US is more important to the health of professional tennis than being the 1st or 2nd most popular sport in many other countries.

the only reason the USO was held this year was the 71 million dollars that ESPN paid to broadcast the event(otherwise the USTA would have been in the red)

Roland Garros, despite being held in a country where tennis is a lot more popular doesn’t get big money from TV deals(this was reported by Wertheim). That’s the only reason they allowed fans in, to at least get something out of holding the event.

so the next time we get another thread about how no one cares about tennis in the US, try to remember that. Stuff like bad ratings(btw the World Series got record low ratings this week. Pretty sure the sport will continue to go on here), bad participation, etc doesn’t really matter. There’s just so much money here.
 

Daniel Andrade

Professional
Yeah, that sounds about right about Colômbia. I would havê thought tennis would be there somewhere, however there it is seen as an elitist sport, and it really is.
 

Goosehead

Legend
as a uk based land based waterbird :D i see it is tv viewers/attendance at events

problem with this is for instance football champions league is v popular but is only on pay tv
rugby six nations in a mix of paytv/free (itv/bbc)..
wimbledon has wall to wall free to air viewing on bbc1 and bbc2 (first on tv in 1938 i think.. :unsure: or was that the fa cup final ??), if you were rich enough to get a telly that is.

so already we can see how these stats can get distorted..
other countries are probably similar.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Still not as popular as cricket.

Considering that cricket numbers are severely limited to only three countries (India, Pakistan and Australia) that is not even global sport in its true sense. It is like Table tennis, which numbers are severely inflated by the Chinese.

Truly, Tennis is (or should be) in the top 3, and is obviously #1 individual sport.

:cool:
 

Jonesy

Hall of Fame
Considering that cricket numbers are severely limited to only three countries (India, Pakistan and Australia) that is not even global sport in its true sense. It is like Table tennis, which numbers are severely inflated by the Chinese.

Truly, Tennis is (or should be) in the top 3, and is obviously #1 individual sport.

:cool:
You are probably right. I don't think there is another individual sport that comes even close overall.
 
Overall Tennis has a larger percentage of the higher earning strata, which makes it more generally more attractive for marketing as the numbers of fans might suggest. Plus it appeals more for certain brands.
 

Goosehead

Legend
Considering that cricket numbers are severely limited to only three countries (India, Pakistan and Australia) that is not even global sport in its true sense. It is like Table tennis, which numbers are severely inflated by the Chinese.

Truly, Tennis is (or should be) in the top 3, and is obviously #1 individual sport.

:cool:
cricket. south africa, bangladesh 170m, england have biggish populations too..
 
The year long ATP/WTA Tour has next to no popularity anywhere surely
I've never seen a bar or a pub showing a 250, 500, or 1000 match
People will talk about a Kyrgios meltdown or an insane Roger shot but no one gives a **** who wins whichever 250 is on etc

That being said, tennis is far more popular (at least in France, Greece and Aus, the places I've spent enough time in to judge) than people give it credit for, particularly the slams
I've never seen the whole country so fixated on a singular sporting event as they were for Nadal v Kyrgios here in Jan (it was the highest rating TV event of this year here)
The Djokovic meltdown was the single biggest piece of news in this country the day that it happened
In France, the most googled athlete of last month was Hugo Gaston, and over 1/4th of the country was watching his match vs Thiem at some point - the numbers are fairly similar in Greece when Tsitsipas is playing a big match at a slam

My point is, tennis as a niche, week to week following, is minuscule. But the unified support a tennis player can get when performing well at a slam, or the amount of people with at least a passing interest in tennis, is larger than people give it credit for
 
That is an excellent point and it places tennis somewhere in a strange place with its four highlights and a couple of big tournaments. The Davis Cup is a great draw in some countries.

In Europe football dominates with all the leagues, the European competition plus the national team WC and EC events. New stuff gets introduced but is only at the beginning. Latin America is similar with far less worldwide attraction. In the US you have your regular seasons and the knock-off stages upping interest. The Olympics have the four year cycles.

Frankly Tennis would profit greatly if the male sport would be less dominated by fellow Europeans. I hope to see some more competition from the Americas and Asia.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
I would have assumed gun sports would be the most popular pastime in the USA given how easy they are to access...
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
The reason footbol/futbol/soccer is so popular is any half-starved kid capable of fighting off literal vultures from the drop dead poorest hole in the remotest corner of the globe can find a ball and a patch of dirt. It is the worlds lowest common denominator sport. It is also broadcasted on freely available state or national television, all day, every day... every day. It's sort of why tennis is so popular in Italy and France - they aren't the poorest dirt holes, but they do play tennis on dirt, which makes tennis courts very cheap, and it is popular in schools/culture, and it is on free tv often.

Another thing about soccer is any one can play it with little skill or knowledge. Unlike baseball, there are only two rules in soccer - don't use your hands unless you need to cheat in the finals, and pretend to be injured if you can draw a penalty kick. Anyone can, and does, follow these rules. You try and explain the baseball infield fly rule to a Frenchman and you'll be covered in half-digested non-pasteurised dairy products within minutes. Whenever I speak to Europeans regarding baseball, all of them take issue with all the rules. This is what makes baseball baseball. But nearly every European has played stick ball or field hockey, which is the extent of their sticky ball experience. The rules in these sports, by comparison to baseball, are nearly non existent. When you try to explain a forced run situation to a European, their eyes roll back in their heads, and that's after they've ASKED me to explain it to them. To most people, sports are meant as an escape from tedium, not a practice in tedium. Now, I can not think of a more tedious past time than watching some literal moron trot about the lawn while wearing gym shorts and socks up to their knees, but billions of others disagree.

In Europe, sports are meant to be affordable. ANY European can steal a soccer ball from someone or somewhere and then proceed to kick it against the side wall of your house while you are trying to enjoy your dinner. Pilfering a baseball, glove, and a bat, and then getting a couple dozen of their mates to do the same to play a sport is a lot to ask of them. They usually only partake in team activities like that in the middle of Paris.

A lot of it is culture, though. And, as with most sports 'culture', much of it is proxy tribalism and warring in practice. We all human beings secretly, or overtly, hate one another. Cricket is a pain in the hole sport to play and prepare for; the kind of thing you only do if you have hate in your heart. And then you have to deal with all the cricket players that are usually an utter shower of coonts. I should know, a friend of mine is one of them and I want to kick him in all his holes every time he speaks of cricket and most other activities he's interested in. It is a popular sport to watch, but few actually play it; like the Kentucky derby, or American football. And players make virtually no money at all in cricket at the top of the game; zero compared to an American football player whom mainly warms a bench, in fact. So it's popularity is in 'entertainment' only, as it isn't as much a past time as the numbers will suggest. It is a representation of nationalism/tribalism. It is a way for people to gather under one flag and cheer and drink copious amounts of cheap beer, pretend to be better than other countries or begrudge their superiority, and forget about life for a while. I also want to kick those a-holes up the hole as well and set the bar alight. But that may just be me. Cricket's main cultural contribution world wide, which is actually very closely shared with baseball, is it gives us a very affordable means to protect our homes, collect our slum lord rent, or destroy mail boxes.
 
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Goret

Rookie
Soccer is definitely not widely and freely available on TV all year long. In fact, many competitions are on pay-TV only: national league, UEFA Champion's League... TV rights are huge and pay-TV networks are the only ones who can afford it.
On the other hand, matches from the national team are free in most countries.

Generally speaking, team sports are more popular than individual sports - you're behind tour city/franchise/country rather than an individual, and that's a long-term deal. For an individual sport, tennis is still tremendously popular (only racing would really be a contender).

Olympic Games are something special: athletes represent their country, not just themselves, and that's the reason so many people are watching (and actually watch sports they'd generally ignore).
 
this is a failure on the ATP executives and their lackluster marketing/promotion of the sport.

if you want to see how to market a sport properly, look at what the UFC has done....they were a fringe/gimmick sport 15 years ago, and now its arguably bigger than boxing...that's how its done.
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
The only tennis star with almost universal recognition and popularity is Federer in the States. Rafa would be next, Djokovic isn't even on the radar. Sadly, Americans tend to tune out if an American isn't at the top of the heap. Roddick was never particularly popular, after 2006 when Andre retired, interest in the sport has died with the exception of Roger. Tennis will not revive in the US until a young American star emerges, and the probability of that hovers around 0.
Agreed, i keep saying that Americans aren't really fans of "sporting" per se. They tend to be fans of events, celebrity, etc.
 
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tacou

G.O.A.T.
It's not popular by winter olympics certainly are not the 5th most popular so not sure how reliable this is!
 

demrle

Professional
The reason footbol/futbol/soccer is so popular is any half-starved kid capable of fighting off literal vultures from the drop dead poorest hole in the remotest corner of the globe can find a ball and a patch of dirt. It is the worlds lowest common denominator sport. It is also broadcasted on freely available state or national television, all day, every day... every day. It's sort of why tennis is so popular in Italy and France - they aren't the poorest dirt holes, but they do play tennis on dirt, which makes tennis courts very cheap, and it is popular in schools/culture, and it is on free tv often.

Another thing about soccer is any one can play it with little skill or knowledge. Unlike baseball, there are only two rules in soccer - don't use your hands unless you need to cheat in the finals, and pretend to be injured if you can draw a penalty kick. Anyone can, and does, follow these rules. You try and explain the baseball infield fly rule to a Frenchman and you'll be covered in half-digested non-pasteurised dairy products within minutes. Whenever I speak to Europeans regarding baseball, all of them take issue with all the rules. This is what makes baseball baseball. But nearly every European has played stick ball or field hockey, which is the extent of their sticky ball experience. The rules in these sports, by comparison to baseball, are nearly non existent. When you try to explain a forced run situation to a European, their eyes roll back in their heads, and that's after they've ASKED me to explain it to them. To most people, sports are meant as an escape from tedium, not a practice in tedium. Now, I can not think of a more tedious past time than watching some literal moron trot about the lawn while wearing gym shorts and socks up to their knees, but billions of others disagree.

In Europe, sports are meant to be affordable. ANY European can steal a soccer ball from someone or somewhere and then proceed to kick it against the side wall of your house while you are trying to enjoy your dinner. Pilfering a baseball, glove, and a bat, and then getting a couple dozen of their mates to do the same to play a sport is a lot to ask of them. They usually only partake in team activities like that in the middle of Paris.

A lot of it is culture, though. And, as with most sports 'culture', much of it is proxy tribalism and warring in practice. We all human beings secretly, or overtly, hate one another. Cricket is a pain in the hole sport to play and prepare for; the kind of thing you only do if you have hate in your heart. And then you have to deal with all the cricket players that are usually an utter shower of coonts. I should know, a friend of mine is one of them and I want to kick him in all his holes every time he speaks of cricket and most other activities he's interested in. It is a popular sport to watch, but few actually play it; like the Kentucky derby, or American football. And players make virtually no money at all in cricket at the top of the game; zero compared to an American football player whom mainly warms a bench, in fact. So it's popularity is in 'entertainment' only, as it isn't as much a past time as the numbers will suggest. It is a representation of nationalism/tribalism. It is a way for people to gather under one flag and cheer and drink copious amounts of cheap beer, pretend to be better than other countries or begrudge their superiority, and forget about life for a while. I also want to kick those a-holes up the hole as well and set the bar alight. But that may just be me. Cricket's main cultural contribution world wide, which is actually very closely shared with baseball, is it gives us a very affordable means to protect our homes, collect our slum lord rent, or destroy mail boxes.

Why would you come up with the baseball talk, when the survey was clearly covering sports only. Word is, that the subjects in the survey complained about "Watching paint dry" not being a viable answer and had to settle for baseball.

When you try to explain a forced run situation to a European, their eyes roll back in their heads, and that's after they've ASKED me to explain it to them.
Idiot Europeans. And you are sure they weren't just trolling you?
 

demrle

Professional
I know this will upset many, but being the 13th favorite sport(or whatever) in the US is more important to the health of professional tennis than being the 1st or 2nd most popular sport in many other countries.

the only reason the USO was held this year was the 71 million dollars that ESPN paid to broadcast the event(otherwise the USTA would have been in the red)

Roland Garros, despite being held in a country where tennis is a lot more popular doesn’t get big money from TV deals(this was reported by Wertheim). That’s the only reason they allowed fans in, to at least get something out of holding the event.

so the next time we get another thread about how no one cares about tennis in the US, try to remember that. Stuff like bad ratings(btw the World Series got record low ratings this week. Pretty sure the sport will continue to go on here), bad participation, etc doesn’t really matter. There’s just so much money here.
Good for the ESPN and the USTA! Now they've shown that it's financially feasible, they should keep it that way. This was by some margin the most knowledgeable and least obnoxious US Open crowd in the recent memory.

*My name is Naomi Osaka and I approve this message.
 
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