October 24th is shaping up to be quite a showdown in the sports world: In one corner, the NBA launches into a new season, while in the other, all 32 NHL teams take the ice on the same night – a rare occurrence that ESPN aims to capitalize on. As both leagues ramp up in the opening month of their new seasons, CivicScience’s InsightStore™ offers an in-depth look at how fans from each league stack up against one another.

Ongoing tracking shows that 35% of U.S. adults report they follow the NBA at least ‘a little,’  while 32% express a similar level of interest in the NHL. When it comes to anticipating the upcoming seasons, 18% of NHL fans are planning to watch ‘more’ games this year, in contrast to 15% of NBA fans. Conversely, 28% of NBA enthusiasts intend to reduce their game-watching this year, and less than a quarter (22%) of NHL fans also plan to scale back their viewership for this season.

The current economic climate is hitting home for American sports fans, as 62% say they have refrained from attending a live sporting event in the past six months due to rising prices and inflation. NHL fans (53%) are more likely to report they’re holding off on attending sporting events than NBA fans (49%).

How else do NBA fans differ (or relate) to their NHL loving counterparts? Here are five key consumer insights about NBA and NHL fans as the new seasons begin:

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