March Madness by the numbers – A overview of its fans and viewing habits
March 22nd, 2024, Kineree Shah

March Madness by the numbers – A overview of its fans and viewing habits

As the NCAA basketball ‘March Madness’ tournament unfolds, insights from YouGov Profiles sheds light on the demographics and viewing habits of Americans who rank this event as their top interest.

One-tenth of the US adults say the NCAA basketball ‘March Madness’ tournament is one of their top interests (12%). Interest varies by age, with 13% of those 55 and over ranking it highest, compared to 8% of the 18-24 age group.

When it comes to gender, men are twice as likely as women to rank ‘March Madness’ as a top interest (16% versus 8%). Americans with higher incomes demonstrate a greater likelihood of interest in it (18%), surpassing both middle (13%) and lower-income groups (10%) in their engagement levels.

Diving into the broader sports landscape, nearly seven out of ten ‘March Madness’ fans also follow football (68%). Baseball holds the third spot at 51% after basketball (65%) followed by golf (25%), tennis (23%), ice hockey (21%), boxing (20%), and gymnastics (18%).

Fans of March Madness are not just fair-weather followers. Three in 10 Americans watch regular season games and playoffs (31%).

Nearly one in five watch most games that their local or favorite team plays (18%), with another 12% catching almost every game. Meanwhile, 23% tune in only for the playoffs, post-season, or major tournaments.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.