National survey says AFL most popular sport

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By Redb, 16 Oct 2009 Redb is a Roar Guru

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    Shaun Higgins of the Western Bulldogs marks in front of Nick Riewoldt of St Kilda during the AFL Round 17 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Western Bulldogs at the Docklands Stadium. Slattery Images

    Shaun Higgins of the Western Bulldogs marks in front of Nick Riewoldt of St Kilda during the AFL Round 17 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Western Bulldogs at the Docklands Stadium. Slattery Images

    There is often speculation as to what sports occupy the hearts and minds of Australians. A recent Sensis (Telstra) survey conducted in September 2009 asked the question of 1,500 Australians throughout the country: who is their favourite sporting team?

    The results were interesting to say the least and can be interpreted or spun to suit. But what is undeniable is that the AFL has captured more fans that anyone with 21 percent of the people surveyed nominating Australian Football (AFL) as their favourite sport.

    Next was rugby league (NRL) with 12 percent, followed by cricket 11 per cent, football 11 per cent and, worrying for rugby union, they came in well down the list behind tennis and netball at just 3 per cent.

    The favourite sporting teams by state were:
    NSW – Sydney Swans 7 per cent
    VIC – Collingwood 14 per cent
    QLD – Brisbane Broncos 21 per cent
    SA – Adelaide Crows 44 per cent
    WA- West Coast 28 per cent
    TAS – St Kilda 10 per cent
    NT – Collingwood 9 per cent
    ACT – Canberra Raiders 10 per cent

    No State or Territory nominated any national sporting team (cricket, soccer, rugby) as their favourite team, although when asked to nominate their favourite national sporting team, the Australian cricket team came out on top.

    In NSW, the Swans at 7 per cent were closely followed by the Dragons, Australian cricket team and the Bulldogs. Obviously NRL team loyalties are split.

    No-one would suggest AFL is the most popular sport in NSW.

    In Victoria, it’s no surprise that Collingwood are leading the pack. The Pies also came out number one in the Northern Territory and surprisingly second behind the Raiders in the ACT.

    Only teams that scored above 5 per cent were listed and no non-AFL teams in Victoria made the list, which confirms the suspicion that the Swans have penetrated further into the consciousness in Sydney than, say, the Storm in Melbourne.

    Essendon was low at just 7 per cent, behind Carlton, Hawthorn and Geelong in Victoria. We Bomber fans always considered it was Collingwood, then Essendon in popularity.

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