Sports journalists have been trying to solve the mystery of ranking sports by their popularity for quite some time. Many criteria can be used to determine a sports’ popularity such as:
- Global fan base
- Number of professional leagues around the world
- Social media presence
- Accessibility to general public worldwide
- TV rights deals
- Gender equality
Having this in mind, we can undoubtedly claim that football is the most popular global sport and the most dominant sport in Europe, Africa, and South America with over 4 billion followers across the globe. The 2018 World Cup Finals game was broadcast in over 200 countries of the world and watched by an estimated 800 million people, while the annual UEFA Champions League is watched by more than 500 million people. Football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi are regularly in the top 10 list of the most paid sportsman, so it’s no surprise that football is No.1 at the top of the popularity list.
However, football is not the only sport that enjoys great popularity as there are plenty of others that attract millions of spectators across the globe. Basketball, Cricket, Baseball, Formula 1, American Football, Golf, Ice Hockey — all of them are significant sports of great interest across the world.
Although horse racing is primarily considered a gambling sport, it causes a deep interest in the UK, US, Australia, and Japan. Horse racing lottery games, such as the Win Place Show, focus on major horse races, like the Kentucky Derby or the Grand National.
Here’s the list of the most significant sports championships arranged in no particular order.
The super bowl is the annual championship game of the NFL (National Football League) between the champion of the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.
It is a one-game championship played in February every year, and it is one of the biggest single-day sports events on the planet. Super Bowl generates billions of dollars from advertising revenue and attracts more than 100 million viewers of the show.
FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup is the competition between the best national football teams on the planet. The event is being held every four years, it lasts for a month, and its ratings go through the roof, even in the US, where football (or soccer) isn’t among the most popular sports.
More than 200 countries take part in the qualifying for the event, but only 32 teams get the chance to participate in the main event. It is the competition that transcends sports and there is hardly any football fan who doesn’t drop everything to watch the matches.
It’s tough to point out a single grand slam event of the four majors in tennis, but according to many players, Wimbledon is the cornerstone of the sport. It is the most prestigious event in tennis, and the finals match is always in the top 10 most watched annual events.
Wimbledon is the oldest tournament in tennis and the only major tournament that’s being played on a grass court, on the same field which was originally used in 1877.