Advertisers like to bet big that Americans like big events. Polling this month by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press suggests their thinking is correct. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they're especially looking forward to the Winter Olympics, and 58 percent said the same about the Super Bowl. Thirty-one percent said they're eager to see the Academy Awards; 23 percent are especially looking forward to soccer's World Cup.
But a comparison with an earlier poll gives cause to wonder whether a degree of event fatigue has set in over the years. Seventy-one percent of respondents in a 1988 survey were especially looking forward to the Olympics then; 43 percent were eager to see the Academy Awards. The new numbers are lower than those by double digits. The Super Bowl is an exception, with the current figure three points higher than that of 1988.