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Love sports? Not as much as TV watchers in these states, new ranking finds

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A new ranking finds that West Virginians lead the country in TV sports viewing.

But that’s hardly surprising given that the average person in West Virginia tunes in to four and a half hours of television each day — more hours of TV time than in any other state, according to data compiled and released by USDirect, a DIRECTV dealer.

A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey found that the average American over the age 15 watched 2 hours and 46 minutes of TV each day from 2013 to 2017, while Nielsen estimated that in 2018 Americans’ TV habits ate up 4 hours and 46 minutes a day.

After West Virginia, the states that catch the most sports television are Wyoming, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Delaware, Ohio and New Hampshire, the USDirect ranking found. And in each of those states, football makes for the most popular viewing. Click here to see the full ranking.

USDirect said it reached its conclusions by looking at three metrics — TV watch-time, household sports interest and household TV/movie interest — as judged by surveys, subscription data and product purchases. The company said the three “metrics were weighted equally to determine a final rank.”

The research considered eight commonly watched sports: baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, skiing, soccer and tennis.

But it’s not until No. 19 spot in the rankings that you find a single state where football isn’t the most popular. That 19th state is Kentucky, where basketball is apparently king.

Baseball is the most popular sport on TV in Connecticut, which comes in at No. 21, and golf takes the top spot in Maryland, which comes in at No. 24, according to the ranking.

Overall, football was the favorite sport in 35 states.

California, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., bring up the rear in the ranking — with Hawaii in dead last.

According to the company, South Dakota was the state with the highest average sports interest, even though it came in at No. 12 in the overall sports viewership ranking.

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