The biggest sporting events attract large numbers of spectators in stadiums as well as viewers on television or online. For a moment, fans all over the world see beyond their differences and celebrate the beauty of sports.
We listed some of the most popular sporting events in the world based on viewership. Note this list is not necessarily in the order of popularity.
UEFA Champions League
There are four billion football (soccer) fans in the world, making it the most popular sports. You would be hard-pressed to find a country that knows nothing about football. It then makes sense that the UEFA Champions League is watched by over 300 million people the world over. Why? Europe’s best teams battle it out in this race, and you can bet only the best make the cut. Each year, the final event unites the world beautifully while bringing serious financial benefits to host countries.
Rugby World Cup
Every four years, over 12 million people tune into the World Cup of Rugby where twenty of the world’s best teams compete against each other. They usually qualify on merit, and so only the best head on to show their skills to the world. The six-week tournament is filled with adrenaline as these players bring their best until only the best is left standing. The last event was in Japan in 2019, where the final between the UK and South Africa was the most watched. France will host the next RWC from September 8 to October 21, 2023.
World Poker Tour
There are a number of poker tournaments held regularly where large sums of money are won. The World Poker Tour broadcasts on Fox Sports Regional Networks and is now on its 16th season. It has wide coverage, currently being broadcast in at least 150 countries. Naturally, this event only features the best players in the world, and so far, Darren Elias is the holder of most WPT titles after winning four times. Over the years, other spinoffs emerged, among them Professional Poker Tour and WPT Ladies.
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FIFA World Cup
If you aren’t convinced that soccer is the most popular sport in the world, get this; a record 199,854 spectators filled a stadium in 1950 to watch the final match of that year’s World Cup event. It has been popular for decades, and this has only grown over years so that every four years about 3 billion people tune in. The 32-team FIFA world cup brings together the best country representatives who battle it out for number one. FIFA has started the plans to expand participants to 46 from 2026. The next event will be held in Qatar in 2022.
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The Prestigious Monaco Grand Prix
The streets of Monaco have been home to this star-studded event since 1929. Thousands of viewers tune in to this televised annual occasion that is held every last weekend of May. Even more frock the city to catch the top Formula One drives navigate the Circuit de Monaco, undoubtedly the most intricate of roads in the sport. Winning this is a real achievement for participants as it is still thought to be the toughest in the F1. The beauty of the city only adds to the allure of this event, and the nightlife is said to be legendary. Over time, the Monaco Grand Prix has become one of the most glamorous and profitable sporting events in the world.
National Basketball Association
The playoffs for basketball start after teams have been eliminated, and only 30 are left fitting to get to the last 16. Now, this is when the games get really heated since a team would have to be great to make it this far. The NBA tournament of 2019 had an unexpected turn when Canada’s Toronto Raptors beat Golden State Warriors for the championship. 18.5 million Canadians tuned in to watch their team play. If you add the numbers that were naturally watching from the US and other parts of the world, you see why this sport is rated one of the greatest.
Tour de France!
Every summer, France welcomes cyclists to ride its scenic countryside in what is known in the sport as the toughest course. Beautiful, winding roads and a relaxed background are the last things participants notice for the grueling 23 days when they cycle 2,200 miles. The first event took place in 1903 and is now approximated to have 3.5 billion viewers worldwide.
Every year, fans throng the All-England Club to participate in this event that catches the world’s attention. Being one of the most popular sports in the world, it is befitting that millions tune in for this one. Attendance and viewership vary annually, but the most-watched match was Djokovic vs Federer in 2019. 3.3 million viewers stopped what they were doing to watch the lengthy, action-packed match.
What’s Your Favorite?
Which among these is your favorite? If you love them all, we cannot fault you. They are all likable and entertaining.