By B B Nagpal
That’s what sportsman spirit is all about…
The last few months have seen many stadia and playing grounds being closed due to the pandemic. Even otherwise due to stiff restrictions on entry, exit and use of playgrounds due to social distancing procedures, various sporting activities came to a grinding halt.
Not anymore as around 78 per cent sports fans in the United States support professional and collegiate sports leagues to resume even without fans in attendance, according to the ESPN Coronavirus Lockdown Fan Study.
This shows 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).
Fifty-nine per cent said that they cannot wait to see sports back on television and plan to watch as much as they can (up from 56 per cent in April), according to a report carried by Advanced Television Research Monitor.
Sixty-four 64 per cent said the prolonged suspension of live sports has driven greater appreciation for them. Among avid fans, 84 per cent feel the same.
The survey of 1,003 US sports fans ages 18+, fielded from June 23 to 26 and 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, US 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 have only grown stronger,” said Laura Gentile, Senior Vice-President of Consumer Marketing at 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.”
BB Nagpal is a reputed Journalist, Visiting Professor (Media, PR and Cinema Studies), Film Critic for the past 51 years. He retired as Chief of Bureau of United News of India (UNI) after more than 36 years of service in November 2005 and was founder Chief Editor of the Lok Sabha TV channel