The Most Popular Sport in The World


The most viewed sport in America is NFL football. This probably comes as no surprise to anyone in America reading this. What might surprise most is that it does not have the most estimated fans in the world. As some may not be surprised which sport is the most viewed by the world there will probably be those who are surprised. There are some sports on this list that, frankly, surprised me. All of the soon to be mentioned sports are known to all but the surprising part is how many people have viewed the sport to make it one of the top most estimated fan based sports in the world.

According to, American Football and NBA basketball round out the bottom ten in rankings of most fan base. They fall in 9th and 10th place but are listed as 9th because of being viewed by the same number of people. Both are viewed by 400 million people. NBA’s main popularity is in America were as American football’s popularity is not only in America but also in Europe, Africa, and Australia. Honestly American football being ranked the same as basketball surprises this writer. It is also surprising that American football falls further down the list then some of the other sports that will be mentioned.

Golf came in 8th place with estimated fans at 450 million. The regional popularity is Europe, Asia, Canada and America. Coming in 7th close behind golf is baseball which is viewed by 500 million fans. The popularity of baseball is in only two countries and that is America and Japan. Baseball and golf being ahead of American football probably surprises many of us. Just wait. The list gets even more interesting.

The next five sports are going to surprise many people. It’s hard when you live in America to wrap your brain around some of these sports as being so popular but that is what is so wonderful about the world we live in. Seeing what so many people outside of America view as exciting to watch is both mind boggling and interesting. It is also interesting that the sports that are ranked three and four are not popular in America which is why it is confusing to so many Americans. Table tennis ranks 6th with an estimated fan base of 850 million and being popular in Europe, Africa, Asia and America. Volleyball came in 5th place. It is not noted whether this is male or female volleyball. This sports fan base is estimated at 900 million and is popular in Europe, Australia, Asia and America. Tennis is in 4th place with 1 billion estimated fans. What is surprising about this is that with the estimated 1 billion fans America is one of the regions of its popularity. So there are more estimated fans of tennis than American football? Mind blown! The other regions in which tennis is popular are Europe and Asia. Field hockey came in with a big jump from our 4th place tennis (which had 1 billion) with 2 billion estimated fans. The regions where field hockey has the most popularity are Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Now here is where most may start asking for a recount. Most of Americans, unless they follow this next sport, would never think of this sport to rank as number two. So what sport ranks number two with an estimated fan base of 2.5 billion you ask? That would be cricket. For those who are not exactly sure what is involved when playing cricket it is a bat and ball game played between two teams. Each team has eleven players each on a cricket field and in the center is a rectangular 22 yard long pitch with a target that is called a wicket at each end. Here is a video in case you would like to learn more about this sport which, according to the regional popularity, it is only popular in Asia, Australia and the UK. It is not popular in America.

The final and most popular sport, according the, will probably not surprise too many people because it has slowly become more and more popular in America. The sport finishing in first place is soccer/Association Football. The estimated fan base for this sport is beyond amazing. There are 3.5 billion estimated people who follow soccer. The regional popularity is Europe, Africa, Asia and America. Not only has soccer become a popular sport professionally to watch it has gained popularity among non professionals who love to play the sport. There are so many children leagues, travel leagues and even adult teams (non professional) that are out there for people to be a part of this every growing sport.

Although this list could be argued by some as a certain sport not being as popular as another one thing is for sure. There are a lot of people in this world that love watching sports. The wonderful thing about our world is there are so many choices out there when it comes to finding a sport that we like and can be passionate about. It also appears that there is a sport for just about everyone based on the staggering numbers of fans there are out there.

Patty McDaniel, 10/15/2017

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