This month, the attention of the world is focused on the Summer Olympics in Rio. For the next three weeks, the live broadcasts of sports such as swimming, track and field and gymnastics will captivate audiences globally.
As well as the sports, the spectacle of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will make them some of the most-watched events of the year.
To celebrate this, we took a deeper look at the sports-themed TV shows that we enjoy. The subjects of these shows tend towards more conventionally popular sports. Of the 30 shows considered for this report, most feature football or some form of fighting sport (boxing, WWE, etc.).
These two sports are the most common subjects for TV shows, but are they the most popular? By ranking these shows by their average Demand Expressions™ during July, it is revealed that the most in-demand sports series are generally football or wrestling-related:
Of the top five shows, four of them are live fighting events and the other, Ballers, is about a football player. While this result reveals the high popularity (both in volume and demand) of fighting sports, the top live event — WWE Raw — only has 12% more demand than Ballers, a scripted series on HBO. The fact that a series about football has nearly the same demand as a live wrestling event indicates just how popular football, in all forms, is in the US.
The remaining top sports titles are more varied. Another football-related comedy, The League, ranks only slightly below the live fighting events. Two women-focused reality series follow: Total Divas follows the women of the WWE while Basketball Wives LA follows the partners of NBA players. Another basketball/drama series, One Tree Hill, is ninth and the documentary series 30 for 30 is tenth.
Football, wrestling, and basketball may be the most in-demand in July, but we hypothesize that the Olympics in August will temporarily dominate sporting interest in the United States.