Top 10 Most Watched Sports Leagues in the World
Attendance is an excellent measure of a sport’s popularity, and the list of the top 10 leagues may well surprise you. These leagues attract the biggest number of spectators and are considered to be the most popular globally:
Nippon Professional Baseball League
At number 10 is the Nippon Professional Baseball league, the highest level of the game in Japan. Each season, the top teams compete in the Japan Series, the Championship series for the league, and there are talks of expanding the league from 12 to 16 teams.
Big Bash League
The Big Bash Leaguemlb is at number 9, and is relatively new, having only been established in 2011. It has, however, surpassed the organisers wildest dreams, with a clash between the Renegades and the Melbourne Stars drawing a crowd of 80 000.
La Liga is Europe’s top league, and the clubs belonging to it also bear the distinction of winning the most Champions League tournaments, as well as the most UEFA Cup/Europa League titles. This league holds the number 8 position.
Baseball remains the great American pastime, and it ranks at number 7. The MLB was created in 1903, and holds 30 teams currently, one in Canada and the remaining 29 in the United States.
Indian Premier League
No list would be complete without the Indian Premier League, and it ranks as number 6 on this list. The irony is that, although it took the NBA for its inspiration, it has currently surpassed it in terms of the average attendance to games by almost twice the margin. The IPL was begun in 2008, holds 8 franchises, and inspired the Big Bash League in Australia. Betting sites go wild whenever these games occur, and extraordinary amounts of money changes hands.
Australian Football League
The Australian Football League, or AFL, represents the highest pro competition for the game, and ranks at number 5. The AFL has 18 teams currently, and these are spread over 5 of the 6 Australian states. There is no promotion and relegation system for the AFL and it works on a single table system without any conferences or divisions.
English Premier League
The English Premier League is at number 4, and is made up of 20 teams. The EPL employs a system of relegation of teams and promotion, and was formed in 1992. It holds the dubious distinction of seeing the most extreme fan rioting since then, and enjoys a global cult following. It is the most-viewed football league worldwide, broadcast in more than 200 territories to over 600 million homes –the potential TV audience alone is almost 5 billion.
The NFL comes in at 3rd place, and there are 125 teams in total for the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The competition to reach the top of this sports field is intense, since it represents a way out of abject poverty for the majority of players, and it is wildly popular with sports fans.
The German Bundesliga holds the 2nd position, and is comprised of 18 teams in total. It was formed in 1963, and, thanks to cheaper ticket prices, attendance is huge.
Super Bowl Takes First Place
The number 1 most watched sports league in the world, of all the sports there are, is the National Football League from the United States of America. The Super Bowl event is the single most-watched in all of American television. It was founded in 1920, and went on to absorb other conferences and leagues by 1970 to gain the position it holds today.