Top 10 most popular/watched sport in the world


Most popular” could mean “most watched,” “most played,” or “most revenue-generating.” Based on the variable definition of “most popular“.

With over 3.5 billion fans worldwide, football “soccer” is the most popular sport on the planet. It always ranks at the top of the majority of the credible lists published.

  • Usually, popularity is measured based on the “number of viewers/fans”.
  • Football (which is equivalent to American soccer) is the most popular overall
  • Tennis is the most popular “individual” sport (no team required)
  • Golf is the most popular “solo” sport (can be played alone).

There are multiple purposes behind playing any sports but one thing common in all the sports is the liking of people. Some people instead of playing, watch sports through satellite which determines the popularity of sports. Playing sports is one thing and watching it on TV is another thing so we are focusing on viewership of sports to determine the most popular sports of the world by 2012. The list contains sports played by two or more than two which means this list does not include athletics. Let’s have look at top 10 most popular sports of the world by 2012.

List of most popular/watched sport in the world

1) Football: 3.3-3.5 billion fans (Europe, Africa, Asia, Americas, etc.)

2) Cricket: 2-3 billion fans (India, UK, Pakistan, Asia, Australia, etc.)

3) Field hockey: 2-2.2 billion fans (Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia)

4) Tennis: Around 1 billion fans (Europe, Americas, Asia)

5) Volleyball: Around 900 million fans (Asia, Europe, Americas, Australia)

6) Table tennis: Around 900 million fans (Asia, Europe, Africa, Americas)

7) Baseball: Around 500 million fans (US, Japan, Cuba, Dominican Republic)

8) Golf: Around 400 million fans (US, Canada, Europe)

9) Gridiron (American football): 390-410 million fans (US mainly)

10) Basketball: Not more than 400 million fans (US, Canada mainly)

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