Most Watched/Popular Sports in the World

Most Watched/Popular Sports in the World

The three most popular sports in the world are: Football/soccer, Basketball, and Cricket. Assuming that you mean viewership by popularity, here’s the list of top 5 sports in the world. Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season.

1 Association football: 4 billion (Global)
2 Cricket: 2.5 billion (UK and Commonwealth)
3 Field hockey: 2 billion (Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia)
4 Tennis: 1 billion (Global)
5 Volleyball: 900 million (Western Europe and North America)
6 Table tennis: 875 million (Global)
7 Basketball: 825 million (Global)
8 Baseball: 500 million (United States, Caribbean, and Japan)
9 Rugby: 475 million (UK and Commonwealth)
10 Golf: 450 million (Western Europe, East Asia, and North America)

  1. Soccer/Association Football – one of the most played sports in the world and is played in about 200 countries having 4 Billion Fan Base all over the world.
  2. Field Hockey – simply known as Hockey is one of the famous sports in Asia, Australia, and Europe and has a Fan Base of about 2 Billion People all around the world.
  3. Cricket– popular in South Africa, England, Australia, the Caribbean Islands and in the southern Asia Countries having a Fan base of almost 2.5 Billion people all over the world.
  4. Tennis – The modern game of tennis was first played in England as Lawn tennis in the mid of the 19th century. Tennis has 1.5 billion fans all around the world.
  5. Volleyball – More than 200 nations are a member of FIVB. It’s mostly popular in African, American, Asian and European countries with approx 1 Billion fans all over the world.
  6. Table tennis – ITTF has currently 217 members. The game is also played at the Olympics, is popular in African, American, Asian and European countries with about 800 Million Fans.
  7. Baseball – Currently 118 nations are a member of IBAF. The game was first played in the mid of the 19th century and now it’s popular in America, Canada and Japan with about 500 Million Fans.
  8. Basketball – A total of 213 nations are now members of FIBA. The game was first played in the US in 1891 and is now one of the popular sports having 450 million fans all over the world.
  9. American football – The game was first played in 1869 and now it’s one of the most popular games in America and a bit in some other countries with about 350 million fans all over the world.
  10. Golf – The game was first played in Scotland in the 15th century and now played in almost every country, it has a Fan Base of 300 Million fans all over the world.


Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Football is one of the most played sports in the world and is played in about 200 countries. Football played by between two teams consisting of 11 players each side. FIFA was founded in Paris on 21st May 1904. The highest governing body is FIFA (International Federation of Football Association). Football is also played in Olympic. Football is popular in Europe, Asia, Africa and in American countries with having Billion fan base all over the world. Football is played in every country and has massive coverage for EPL, La Liga, and Serie A, etc. Football is popular because only a ball is needed to play. It is a game of skill, where ball control is far more important than physical conditioning. People of all body types and heights can play soccer. Football is the most popular sport in the world played with great interest in almost every continent of the world – Europe (Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League), Asia (Indian Super League), Africa, South America, North America, and Australia and New Zealand.

Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called football include association football (known as soccer in some countries); gridiron football (specifically American football or Canadian football); Australian rules football; rugby football (either rugby league or rugby union); and Gaelic football. These various forms of football are known as football codes.

Common rules among the sports include:

  • Two teams of usually between 11 and 18 players; some variations that have fewer players (five or more per team) are also popular.
  • A clearly defined area in which to play the game.
  • Scoring goals or points by moving the ball to an opposing team’s end of the field and either into a goal area or over a line.
  • Goals or points resulting from players putting the ball between two goalposts.
  • The goal or line being defended by the opposing team.
  • Players using only their bodies to move the ball.
  • In all codes, common skills include passing, tackling, evasion of tackles, catching and kicking. In most codes, there are rules restricting the movement of players offside, and players scoring a goal must put the ball either under or over a crossbar between the goalposts.

Top Football leagues

  • English Premier League
  • Bundesliga
  • EFL Championship
  • La Liga
  • Serie A
  • Ligue 1
  • Major League Soccer
  • UEFA Champions League
  • Swiss Super League


“The Gentleman’s Game” as they call it. Popularized by the Brits, it is a major sport in the UK, Asia, South Africa and Australia where Football is not so popular (the UK being an exception). Cricket world cup is the 2nd most-watched sporting event (FIFA world cup takes the cake). With almost 3.5 billion followers and admirers, Cricket takes the second place. The game was first played in England. The majority of participants of this sport come from Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK, but cricket is also on the rise in other countries all over the world. Cricket is a game played between two teams consisting 11 players on both the sides. A Bat and a Ball is used to play the game. ICC (International Cricket Council) is the highest governing body of Cricket. ICC was founded on 15 June 1909.

cricket is the second most popular sport in this world. Estimated 2 billion+ followers make cricket one of the most popular sport mainly in Asian and other countries like India, England, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, Caribbean, and South Africa.

The third most-watched competition become the third most-watched sports competition in the world behind the FIFA World Cup and Rugby World Cup. While new format Twenty20 has enabled domestic leagues in several countries with expensive team franchises are being sold which shows the future of cricket.

Growing Craze for T20 leagues: Almost all top cricketing nations have established lucrative domestic T20 leagues where players from foreign countries also take part. Indian Premier League is the biggest domestic t20 league where along with local Indian players, foreign players from 16 countries take part.

All-Star Cricket In USA: Back in November 2015 three shorter format exhibition games were held in the USA in three different venues including New York, Houston, and Los Angeles. The receptions were pretty good with Americans turning out in big numbers.

Cricket is a dominating sport in many countries, especially from the Indian-sub continent. Pakistan, Indian, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh while England, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa are other big cricketing nations with cricket as the second favorite sport. Cricket is also very popular in Caribbeans with an international team called West Indies is comprised of players from different countries across Caribbeans. Cricket also has its roots in countries like Ireland, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Holland.

Women Cricket: Women cricket is growing fast in most cricket-loving countries. ICC (International cricket council) has increased the tv coverage and prize money women competitions and women are now paid 50% more than they did five years ago.

Best T20 cricket leagues in the world

  • Indian Premier League
  • Australian T20 Big Bash League
  • England t20 Blast League
  • Caribbean Premier League
  • CSA T20 Challenge
  • Pakistan Super League
  • Bangladesh Premier League
  • New Zealand’s Super Smash T20 League
  • England’s T20 Blast


Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent or between two teams of two players each. Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent’s court. Hockey deserves 3rd place, however, going with Tennis because of its growing popularity. Tennis has become a lot more marketable and exciting with the advent of technology, players and different formats! Players like Roger, Rafa, Djokovic, etc have achieved superstar status because of the success they have tasted over the past few years! Grand slam events have been registering record ticket sales each year which shows how tennis is growing as a spectator sport.

Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including wheelchair users. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as lawn tennis. It had close connections both to various field games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older racket sport today called real tennis. During most of the 19th century, the term tennis referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis.

The four Grand Slam tournaments (also referred to as the Majors) are especially popular: the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, and the US Open also played on hard courts.


Field hockey is a widely played team sport of the hockey family. The game can be played on grass, watered turf, artificial turf or synthetic field, as well as an indoor boarded surface. Each team plays with ten field players and a goalkeeper. Hockey is a sport in which two teams play against each other by trying to manoeuvre a ball or a puck into the opponent’s goal using a hockey stick. There are many types of hockey such as bandy, field hockey, ice hockey and rink hockey. One of the oldest sports in the world which enjoyed massive popularity in South Asia. While India and Pakistan dominated this sport during the first half of the 20th century, the Netherlands and Australia quickly took over and have proved to be a dominant force in the current scene. However, the viewership is on a steady decline as there have been no new reforms to make the game exciting and more viewer-friendly. Field Hockey simply known as Hockey. It is one of the famous sports in Asia, Australia and Europe and have Fan Base of about 2 Billion People all around the world.The Modern Hockey was first played in 19th century in England. The governing body of hockey is International Hockey Federation which was formed in 1924 in Paris, and now they have 127 National Hockey federation. A hockey match is played between two teams having 11 players with 5 substitutes.


Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team’s court under organized rules. It has been a part of the official program of the Summer Olympic Games since Tokyo 1964. Volleyball is an extremely simple game with little equipment and few rules. All you need is a ball and a net. Furthermore, the popularity of this sport has been evenly distributed around the world which accounts for its fan base of 900 million around the world. It was introduced in the Olympic Games back in 1964 and its beach variation was a real Kickstarter for its rapid growth in popularity around the world.

The complete set of rules are extensive but play essentially proceeds as follows:

  • a player on one of the teams begins a ‘rally’ by serving the ball (tossing or releasing it and then hitting it with a hand or arm), from behind the back boundary line of the court, over the net, and into the receiving team’s court.
  • The receiving team must not let the ball be grounded within their court.
  • The team may touch the ball up to 3 times, but individual players may not touch the ball twice consecutively.
  • Typically, the first two touches are used to set up for an attack, an attempt to direct the ball back over the net in such a way that the serving team is unable to prevent it from being grounded in their court.

The rally continues, with each team allowed as many as three consecutive touches, until either (1): a team makes a kill, grounding the ball on the opponent’s court and winning the rally; or (2): a team commits a fault and loses the rally. The team that wins the rally is awarded a point and serves the ball to start the next rally. A few of the most common faults include:

  • causing the ball to touch the ground or floor outside the opponents’ court or without first passing over the net;
  • catching and throwing the ball;
  • double hit: two consecutive contacts with the ball made by the same player;
  • four consecutive contacts with the ball made by the same team;
  • net foul: touching the net during play;
  • foot fault: the foot crosses over the boundary line when serving.
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