Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World
Sports, whether watched on TV screens, live in the grounds or followed on the internet, have always been superb in attracting masses of crowds anywhere in the world. Some attract larger crowds than others, having billions of fans. The following list based on participation, TV viewership, popularity in the media and player wages.
This simple sport played using a ball and a net can be seen playing all over the world. Be it the beaches, indoor sports arenas, playing grounds or even swimming pools, people find volleyball well worth their entertainment time. Volleyball is truly one of the most popular sports and has more national federations than any other sport on the planet.
- Ice Hockey
The most popular winter sport and also one of the most popular sports in the world, Ice Hockey comes in at number 9. Though it is mostly played in Canada, USA and most parts of northern and eastern Europe, it is surely converting itself into a globally played sport . The National Hockey League (NHL) is ranked among the five most popular on the planet. NHL turns an annual revenue of $4.1 billion.
This combat sports has fought tooth and nail to make it to the most popular sports year-on-year. Boxing is a major sport in countries across many countries in the world and the Olympics event every five years is the example of this. Boxing’s popularity has risen slowly but surely, its growth perfectly depicted by the $400m revenue generated by Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao in 2015 and the record 90,000 sell-out attendance at the Joshua v Klitschko fight at Wembley in 2017. Mayweather v McGregor in August 2017 promises even more thrill, action and, of course, money.
- Formula 1
With 20 Grand Prix every year in 20 different countries , the Auto racing sports Formula 1 is one of the most loved global sports and it has an annual TV audience of over 500 million. It has been the premier racing event of the world since 1950. Formula 1 generates an annual revenue of somewhere between $1.5 to $2 billion a year, which is soundly distributed among 10 f1 teams.
Rugby is another popular sport around the world, though it is strongest in the countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, and in Ireland. The Rugby World Cup of 2015 was the most attended sporting World Cup of all-time with 2.47 million tickets sold and generating £250m in revenue. In addition, 120 million watched the tournament’s final and the hashtag #rwc2015 was used on average once every two seconds during the tournament’s total duration.
The fifth most popular sports around the world, athletics is the most versatile sport in this list that contains five different disciplines according to the International Association of Athletics Federation including Track and field, Road and running, Race walking, Cross country running and Mountain running. These are further divided into different sub-disciplines, most popular of which are running, high jump long jump, rowing, javeline throw and swimming etc. The 2012 100-meter final was the most watched Olympic event in the Olympics’ history with over 1 billion television viewers tuning in from across the globe, which saw the Jamaican record-breaking sprinter, Usain Bolt, win the Gold medal.
Tennis is one the most globally played and liked sports in the world. The four Major global Tennis events called the Grand Slams are few of the biggest sporting events every year. These include The Wimbledon, The French Open, The U.S Open and The Australian Open. The Wimbledon Finals since the 2014 version has been attracting the most audience, which was recorded to be around 10 million viewers in 2014.
Cricket is truly one of the most popular sports in the world. The events like the ICC World cup finals of 2011 and 2015, the World T20 finals and the ICC Champions Trophy finals have been watched by millions of viewers throughout the globe. The Twenty20 World Cup is the third most-viewed sporting event behind the FIFA World Cup and Rugby World Cup. Women’s cricket is also growing rapidly, which shows the spread of the sport’s support worldwide. The International Cricket Council has increased television coverage and prize money for women games. The recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy 2017 saw an increase of half a million dollars, with a total prize pool of $4.5 million.
Basketball is yet another simple and attractive sport which can be played using a ball and a couple of baskets. It is popular particularly in the USA and was also invented there. Basketball has over 1 billion fans and the second-highest number of professional leagues worldwide. Basketball is the fastest growing sport on every scale from revenue, to competitions/leagues. More and more professional leagues are being established in countries across the world, especially in eastern European countries like Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Serbia, and Lithuania. National Basketball Association (NBA) is the most popular Basketball league in the world.
The most popular, most watched, most followed and loved sports in the world is Football. With around 4 billion fans across the globe, football sits at the top of the list on our most popular sports list. Football is one of the most easily accessible and easily playable sport in the world. Football tops the viewership charts(3.9 billion tuned into the 2014 World Cup at some point), the highest prize money (€1.5 billion awarded in prizes and bonuses in the Champions League), the most expensive TV right, as well as the biggest kit deals and richest clubs in the world. Some of the world’s highest paid athletes belong to football. Grazianno Pelle is one the highest earning footballers on the planet who plays for Shandong Luneng in China and earned a whopping 16 million euros in 2017. The recently concluded ‘Neymar to PSG dtransfer’, worth 222 million Euros is just another example of crazy amount of money this sports boasts of.