Poll: American Interest in Olympics Hits All Time Low

With all of the negative attention surrounding the upcoming summer Olympic Games in Rio, it doesn’t come as a surprise that American’s interest in the Games has dwindled. According to a Gallup poll released this earlier this morning, only 48 percent of Americans say they plan to watch the upcoming Olympic Games.

Reports on zika virus, toxic water, doping scandals, and unsafe conditions in the Olympic Village have definitetly had an impact. In an interview with the Washington Times, Gallup analyst Art Swift said that “this is a sharp drop from 59 percent in 2012 and easily the lowest percentage planning to watch compared with the past four summer games. Thirty percent say they plan to watch ‘not much’ of the Olympics, and 21 percent say ‘none at all’ — the highest percentage saying so since Gallup began asking this question in 2000″.

Additionally, the survey found a suprising drop in interest among women. In 2012, women made up 63 percent of the Olympic viewing audience– however, only 47 percent of women surveyed expressed interested in watching this summer’s Olympics.

Swift noted that the Olympic games have been a “rallying cry for nations since ancient times,” and television producers are well aware that the sport-driven inspiration, moreso than the sport itself, is what draws the hordes of viewers to their televisions every two years (our readers excluded). All of the negativity and concerns over this year’s Olympics, however, seem to have overshadowed these typically inspiring stories – and while those negative stories can have short-term benefits to interest in the leadup, once the games begin, they’re harder to sustain without evolution – and unfortunately, in many cases, the evolution of those controversies is tragedy.


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4 years ago

NBC You dumb this time. Hyping up tragedy bound to bite yo ass.
Also I feel a lot of American public still doesn’t respect Phelps, and this is the Phelps show.

I feel like every time I bring him up to non swimmers I hear something about a bong, a DUI, followed by a “I hope he loses”.

Reply to  Murica
4 years ago

That being said, MP absolutely going HAM this week could generate some positive USA hype and get the ratings building through the end of the week. Also probably induce a lot of yelling at computer screens on my end, but we all know thats gonna happen regardless of MP performance.

Reply to  Murica
4 years ago

It isn’t nbc but the media as a whole. It seems like the negative stories about zika, the crime in rio, the poor preparations and to a lesser extent the doping scandals are driving this perception. Certainly nothing to do with MP who was honored by his teammates in being the flag bearer !

bobo gigi
4 years ago

That’s hilarious. You can see the impact of media on a big part of people. Hilarious but scary at the same time.

4 years ago

They’ll watch the basketball

Sean S
Reply to  david
4 years ago

Actually the interest in basketball amongst NBA fans is pretty low. The US team, even missing many of their stars, it too good. They won’t play a competitive game in these Olympics and that turns fans off.

About Rachel Harvill

Rachel Harvill

Rachel has been swimming ever since she can remember. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she learned to love swimming with the Walnut Creek Aquabears. She took her passion for swimming to Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where she primarily competes in sprint freestyle events. In addition …

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