June 30, 2001

"Pint-sized" is hardly the right description for children's appetite for sports media, according to a just-released report from Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI). Sponsored by ESPN and the Amateur Athletic Foundation (AAF), the new study shows that 93% of kids 8 to 17 are exposed to sports content via media, and that more than one-quarter (28%) use sports media daily.

Based on over 500 in-depth interviews, the AAF/ESPN Children and Sports Media Study indicates that television is children's preferred medium for sports; over half (55%) of sports media users said that TV accounts for more of their exposure to sports content than any other medium.

After TV, kids' sports media preferences include (in order) videogames, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, and radio. And while boys are heavier sports media consumers overall, girls are not far behind (97% versus 89%), with the sexes showing clear preferences for different media -- and different sports.

Among sports watched on TV, the Olympics led all others, with 84% of kids reporting some Olympic viewing. NFL football was a close second (80%), with basketball, baseball, and extreme sports following (in order).

In addition, the new report shows that 70% of kids who watch sports on TV -- and 67% of those who listen to them on the radio -- do so with other people present. Parents were most often cited as co-viewers or -listeners, with fathers outnumbering mothers by more than two to one.

The study follows up on a 1999 SRI/AAF report on the same topic; and while most changes over the past two years were minimal, the new report does show the Internet, extreme sports, and videogames gaining in popularity among kids.

For more information at http://www.statisticalresearch.com.

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