Professional North American Sports League Sites Draw Attractive Audiences from Around the Globe

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world today released a study of the visitor profiles for the four largest professional team sport Web properties in the U.S. The four leagues included in this study, Major League Baseball (MLB.com), the National Basketball Association (NBA.com), the National Football League (NFL.com) and the National Hockey League (NHL.com), exhibited interesting differences in visitors to their respective sites on both a local and global scale.

The global visitor profile showed that NBA.com attracted the most global interest, with three of the five global regions each accounting for at least 10 percent of its visitors: North America (53.0 percent), Asia Pacific (27.0 percent) and Europe (14.5 percent). Though Latin America and Middle East-Africa accounted for much smaller percentages, NBA.com attracted a higher share from these regions than the other sports leagues.

The NFL had the most North America-centric visitor profile, which is not surprising given that football is primarily an American sport. Major League Baseball also showed a high skew towards North American visitors, though it also attracted more than 6 percent of its visitors from Asia Pacific. While the NHL also drew most of its visitors from North America (split between U.S. and Canada), Europe accounted for 9.4 percent of its audience.

Selected Professional Sports Leagues’ Share of Audience by Worldwide Region
Average Monthly Unique Visitors, August 2008 – July 2009
Total Worldwide Age 15+, Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore World Metrix
Share (%) of Unique Visitors
MLB NBA NFL NHL
Worldwide 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
North America 88.3% 53.0% 92.7% 88.2%
Asia Pacific 6.1% 27.0% 1.9% 1.5%
Europe 2.7% 14.5% 3.5% 9.4%
Latin America 2.6% 3.1% 1.5% 0.3%
Middle East – Africa 0.3% 2.4% 0.4% 0.6%

Sports League Sites Skew Towards Higher Income Households

The U.S. demographic profile of visitors to the respective professional sports league sites showed important age and household income skews. The NHL exhibited the highest skew towards the highest income households, with 56.4 percent of its audience earning at least $75,000 and 36.0 percent earning at least $100,000 per year. Relative to the total U.S. Internet population, each of the other sports leagues had above average share of audience from the $75,000+ segment: MLB (53.2 percent), NFL (46.8 percent), and the NBA (45.8 percent), compared to 41.4 percent for the total online audience. In terms of age, MLB had the highest percentage of visitors age 45 and older (35.5 percent) while the NBA had the highest percentage of visitors under age 35 (47.6 percent).

Selected Professional Sports Leagues’ Demographic Profiles
Share Average Monthly Unique Visitors, August 2008 – July 2009
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Share (%) of Visitors
Total Internet MLB NBA NFL NHL
Total Audience 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Persons – Age
Persons: 12-17 10.6% 6.7% 9.3% 7.6% 8.0%
Persons: 18-34 29.3% 29.5% 38.3% 33.8% 29.9%
Persons: 35-44 18.8% 21.4% 19.6% 23.4% 23.9%
Persons: 45-54 16.8% 21.5% 16.8% 18.1% 19.4%
Persons: 55+ 15.0% 14.0% 9.3% 10.9% 11.2%
HH Income (US)
Under $40K 22.3% 14.1% 20.5% 18.5% 12.1%
$40,000 – 74,999 36.3% 32.7% 33.7% 34.7% 31.6%
$75,000 – 99,999 16.7% 20.5% 18.1% 18.5% 20.4%
$100,000 or more 24.7% 32.7% 27.7% 28.3% 36.0%