A new study released by Harris Poll and Adweek shows that 19 percent of the football fans polled said they would be less likely to watch games if the NFL season was delayed.
I am not jumping to any conclusions here. I will believe that people who build their weekends around the NFL in the Fall will stay away when I actually see it happen. The poll does, however, give a clear indication of fan unrest with the ongoing labor dispute between players and owners.
Harris Interactive summed up its findings this way:
Although professional football has reigned as America's favorite sport for many years, between the current labor lockout and increased understanding of the damaging effects of head injuries, the sport may have a rough road ahead. Professional football is a business, as the fierce labor lockout makes abundantly clear, yet if these financial discussions turn off the fans, NFL executives may need to reevaluate their priorities. While players and coaches can be replaced (some more easily than others), the one thing professional football cannot survive without, are the millions of Americans who watch the games, play the related fantasy sports, buy team gear, snacks, beverages and countless other products and services related to the industry. Could you imagine a world with no Super Bowl ads?
Harris Interactive surveyed 2,124 adults between April 25 and April 27.