The National Football League has spent a decade trying to import U.S. football into the United Kingdom, but even after all that time a new poll now says that Britons find American football to be a most “boring” sport.
The poll found that 59 percent of respondents ranked American football as “very” or “quite boring,” while only a tiny 18 percent said that the U.S. game was exciting. Only golf ranked worse than football with a whopping 70 percent saying that the sport was boring.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, tennis, rugby, and soccer (British football) ranked among the top five most exciting sports to British sports fans.
— YouGov (@YouGov) January 10, 2018
With U.S. TV ratings continuing to decline year over year, the NFL has put much hope into its expansion plams in foreign counties, especially the UK. But, if this poll reflects a general feeling among Britons, the NFL may find its plans harder to realize than once hoped.
However, the NFL told Bloomberg that it isn’t worried by the poll.
“NFL U.K. pointed to a British TV audience of more than 24 million during 2016-17 and said 600,000 people attended a central London fan festival in 2017,” Bloomberg reported. “Some 40,000 people over the age of 14 now play the sport regularly, according to Sport England figures.”
Awful Announcing also pointed out that NFL growth in America is not in the cards, a fact buttressed by the empty stadiums and crashing TV ratings the league has experienced in recent years. On the other hand, the NFL could expect real growth in Mexico, Japan and the other nations it has been targeting.
But, if British fans still view U.S. football as one of the “most boring” sports, that doesn’t speak well to the ten years the NFL has spent trying to interest the UK in its product.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.