Disputes striking out with sports fans

A new poll shows more than one-third of English-speaking Canadians say they will be less likely to watch or attend hockey and baseball games when the labor disputes in both sports come to an end.The TSN Inside Sports poll found 35.6%...

A new poll shows more than one-third of English-speaking Canadians say they will be less likely to watch or attend hockey and baseball games when the labor disputes in both sports come to an end.

The TSN Inside Sports poll found 35.6% of Canadians say they will not be as keen to watch or attend as they were before the baseball strike and the hockey lockout.

However, Steve Rayment, a spokesman for Toronto-based tsn, cautions that the finding may reflect fans’ anger at missing much of the baseball season and the World Series and the start of the National Hockey League season.

The poll also found 57.3% of Canadians say they will be as likely to watch or attend baseball and hockey games once the disputes are over as they were before the showdowns started.

Canadian Facts conducted the poll Oct. 27-28, surveying 500 English-speaking Canadians across the country (excluding Quebec) for tsn’s first Inside Sports survey.

Rayment says tsn may commission more polls, but adds there are none planned for the moment.

Inside Sports is a magazine-style program that looks at issues and personalities in sports.

Other programming

To occupy their time while major league baseball and hockey are unavailable, 53.9% of respondents say they are watching other types of tv programs; 45.9% say they are reading; 43.5% say they are spending more time with their families, and 40.2% say they are watching other sports such as football.

The poll also found 72.8% of respondents believed a salary cap in pro sports should be in place.

nhl Commissioner Gary Bettman drew only 26.6% approval for the job he is doing.

nhl players’ association boss Bob Goodenow did a little better, with a 32.8% approval rating. DC