(STL.News) Sports are a huge part of human culture. This has been the case since time immemorial. Just about everyone in the world will have an interest or at least an interest in one kind of sport or another. The popularity of various sporting activities is also growing further as internet connectivity and television rights continue to expand across the globe.
While all kinds of sports are seeing impressive numbers in terms of viewership, some are doing better than others. Spectatorship largely varies from one sport to the other and this can be easily seen from the viewership of sporting events. To put this into perspective, let’s have a look at the most popular sports events today.
FIFA World Cup
The World Cup is, without a doubt, the most highly-anticipated sporting event on the planet. It occurs every four years and, in those years, it is often one of the most-watched sporting events in the world. On average, the audience of the World Cup stands at a mind-boggling 3.5 billion people. Football or soccer as it is commonly known already stands out as one of the most recognizable sporting activities in the world. It is therefore not too surprising that the World Cup brings so many people together to celebrate the beautiful sport.
Other equally soccer events that attract equally massive audiences are the Women’s World Cup, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA Confederation Cup.
Now, the Olympics are an event of a different kind. That is because it involves multiple sports and athletics, unlike the other events listed here. It often attracts more viewers than any other sport for this reason. In 2008, the Beijing Olympics drew up to a whopping 600 million viewers which came very close to the number of viewers for the 2010 World Cup final match. That is how big those games are.
Tour de France
As it turns out, lots of people around the world have deep interests in cycling tournaments. Tour de France happens to be the biggest one around and it has the numbers to prove it. With a viewership of up to 3.5 billion, the event which takes place in France every summer is a prestigious sporting competition that resonates with lots of fans. It is a very difficult course that often involves cycling through amazing scenery. Perhaps that adds to its allure.
Cricket World Cup
Cricket’s popularity is quite disproportional but this does not take away the fact that it is one of the most spectated sports in existence. In some countries like Pakistan and India, it is the single most-watched and this has contributed to its dominance as one of the leading sports events. At least 400 million viewers come together every four years to watch the Cricket World Cup. Some cricket matches have even attracted audiences of over 1 billion people.
The Super Bowl
In America, not many sports events come even close to being as much of a big deal as the Super Bowl. This American football event is the National Football League’s championship game and it has the numbers to back it. Each year it attracts tens and even hundreds of millions of viewers most of whom are from the United States. While it does not enjoy as much popularity outside the country, the chunk of the US population that are fans is very respectable considering the country’s population.
For basketball fans, not many leagues are quite as popular as the NBA. Fans always follow their favorite teams through an 82-game regular season which usually culminates in the playoffs and finally, the NBA Finals. These finals are often graced by lots of spectators as well as public figures and celebrities. That further adds to its allure with peak viewership being at over 16 million people in a single game.
College sports are also not left behind when it comes to the most popular sporting events in the world. In fact, this is usually where the professional athletes usually start from. So, it is no surprise that the NCAA basketball games are such a big deal. Players not only get to showcase their talent but also put their schools’ teams on the map. Peak viewership for the event has gone over 16 million making it just nearly as popular as the NBA Finals.
Other amazing sports events with huge viewership that we cannot leave out include the World Cup of Rugby, the Kentucky Derby, the Masters, Boxing, and the World Series. There are many events to look out for depending on where you are and the interests that you have. It all comes down to what sport you love. There’s always a chance that there is an event just for that.