Between social media, mobile and cable TV, sports news outlets have been proliferating -- but newspapers are still the top source for sports news for sports fans. Among male sports fans ages 18-54, 76% cited the sports section of their local newspaper Web site as one of their “go-to” sources for sports news, while 69% cited the print edition.
That compares with 66% for ESPN.com, 46% for league sites, 45% for Yahoo Sports.com, and 45% for ESPN Sports Center. Further down the list, 33% said sports talk radio and 23% said Sports Illustrated or SI.com.
The finds are from
a survey by M/A/R/C for the Newspaper National Network. The poll of 716 men ages 18-54, including in-depth interviews with 404, found that this key audience demo prefers both print and online
newspapers to any other source for sports content.
Even more striking, men ages 18-54 who didn’t classify themselves as regular newspaper readers still cited newspaper Web sites as their top source of sports news.
Overall, 75% of non-regular readers cited newspaper Web sites as a go-to source, compared to 71% for ESPN.com, 40% for Yahoo Sports.com, and 38% for ESPN
Sports Center. Sports talk radio trailed at 27%, and Sports Illustrated and SI.com came in at 16% and 13% among non-regular readers.
Newspapers’ advantage was qualitative as well. Among regular readers, 72% said sports content from newspapers was superior to any other source, and 62% said they get news and analysis they can’t find anywhere else.
In addition, 88% of regular readers said reading sports coverage in newspapers is relaxing, and 79% said it’s an important part of their regular routine. Interestingly,
regular newspaper readers were also more likely to characterize themselves as avid sports fans, with 72% self-identifying this way, compared to just 45% of non-regular readers.
On the advertising front, regular readers also showed a propensity to respond to newspaper advertising. Among men ages 18-54 who read the newspaper regularly, 41% said they considered purchasing an advertised product or service, 33% said they visited an advertiser’s Web site, 25% visited a store or dealer for that product or service, and 19% actually purchased the product or service.