Absolutely. It is way more a sport than poker, which is on ESPN (sports channel) quite a bit. "Sport" does have a broad meaning. Americans tend to only attribute pure physical games to sports; I think in other countries where competitive chess is more popular recognize the sport value in Chess.
I've said before that there is a physical element to chess, more in the realm of fatigue/stamina.
All the basic elements are there as well, such as: preparation, determination, skill, talent, competition, fighting spirit, etc.