Basketball confirmed as the second most preferred sport on television

December 15, 2004Euroleague Basketball announced today the key highlights of a major pan-European research study that was conducted across 10 of the 13 Euroleague countries last Spring. The telephone study and in-venue surveys were conducted in France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

The study revealed that 47% of the pan-European urban population across the 10 countries has identified themselves as “basketball-interested.” This translates to 41,8 million people, of whom 31,98 million described themselves as specifically interested in Euroleague.

The research was managed by IFM, one of Europe’s leading independent sports communication research specialists, based in Karlsruhe, Germany, in partnership with Sport+Markt AG, based in Cologne, Germany. Sport+Markt designed an extensive telephone survey that was conducted with over 7,500 households in all urban areas (cities with 100,000 or more people) of the 10 surveyed countries. In addition, 4,000 in-venue surveys were conducted by Spain’s LeapVision in all of the Euroleague club arenas in the same 10 countries. The in-venue surveys were proportioned according to average attendance and further stratified by price category, to provide the most accurate results across all demographic categories.


The results of the two studies were combined into a 100-page report. The highlights of this report revealed the following characteristics about people interested in basketball:

1.- Profile:

  • Younger (22% more people 15-29 than the general population).
  • More active sports participants (16% more than the general population).
  • More students (33% more students than the general population).
  • Higher Income (11% more than the general population at the highest income level).
  • More brand orientation. Basketball-interested persons include a very high proportion of “young brand consumers” versus the general population (50% greater).
  • Have more children. When people interested in basketball are families, they have 3 or more children at a rate 50% greater than the average household.

2.- Why more brand orientation?

  • People interested in basketball have more disposable income than the general population.
  • People interested in basketball consume more products and services, compared to the general population, than comparable sports, including soccer.
  • People interested in basketball have more affinity toward and willingness to spend on leisure & entertainment.
  • People interested in basketball have an affinity to technology-based products & services (21% more than the average person).

3.- TV

  • Basketball is the second most preferred sport on television.
  • Basketball is also the second most preferred sport for children to watch on television.
  • The vast majority of basketball-interested persons get their basketball information from television (81%).
  • Most basketball fans are also football fans (61% also watch soccer on television).



“We are very pleased with the results of the study,” said Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu. “We understand that basketball will not be able to compete with soccer for a mass audience, but it provides a more interesting target audience for companies.” “In the context of our new agreement with FIBA, which confirms that we will operate the two top competitions of professional basketball in Europe, this is very good news,” added Bertomeu”

The study was coordinated by Euroleague’s business consultant, Marshall Glickman, CEO of G2 Strategic. “I am pleasantly surprised by many of the results,” said Glickman. “Contrary to what many people predicted, the results are fairly consistent across all 10 of the countries we surveyed – north, south, east and west. And, what really has me enthused is that are demographics are very strong with young adults – these people haven’t yet developed all of their brand loyalties, so I think we can provide companies interested in obtaining greater market share with a very strong pan-European marketing platform, especially as we take steps to assume more control over our properties, giving us the flexibility to tailor our program to suit the objectives and requirements of specific companies and brands.”


“IFM has done several studies for sports leagues and federations throughout Europe,” said Uli Lacher, Managing Director of IFM. “We were favorably impressed with the results for Euroleague. Because of the massive support for soccer in all of the European countries, I think sometimes the impact of basketball is under-estimated. This study verifies that basketball is a very important sport in Europe and, perhaps most revealing, that basketball provides a very attractive demographic makeup. The other thing I noticed after reading through the results is that basketball has a high affinity among women and children; basketball can be expected to play an important role for a new generation of children and their families.”