Most Watched Sporting Events in the World – Audiences and Gambling

Most watched sporting events in the world

Competitive sport brings together millions of billion around the world with top-tier events and tournaments. This overflowing passion has no comparison and generates other channels of entertainment. For example, sports betting. In this article, we will review some of the most-watched sporting events in history, as well as the competitions that tend to have the largest audiences regularly.

Sports are very important in many parts of the world but it is not always the same disciplines that stand out in all regions. For example, cricket, or rugby might be considered top sports in some countries but generate little interest in others. The same can happen with American football, baseball, hockey, table tennis, bandy, and many others. With all this in mind, it is interesting to know which are the most-watched sporting events around the planet.

Most Watched Sporting Events in History

The world of entertainment is constantly evolving, with new platforms for the content fans want. Sporting events remain one of the most powerful focuses in this regard. Audience numbers are solid and this attracts TV channels, websites, and sponsors. In this case, we list the most-watched sporting events according to the official reported billionhip:

# Event viewers
1 UEFA Euro 2020 5.23 billion
2 Rio 2016 Paralympics 4.10 billion
3 London 2012 & Rio 2016 Olympics 3.60 billion
4 Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup 3.57 billion
5 Beijing 2008 Olympics 3.51 billion
6 Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 & Athens 2004 Olympics 3.50 billion
7 France 1998 FIFA World Cup 3.40 billion
8 South Africa 2010 & Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup 3.20 billion
9 Tokyo 2020 Olympics 3.05 billion
10 Korea-Japan 2002 & Germany 2006 3.00 billion
11 ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 2.60 billion
12 Salt Lake 2002, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010 & Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics 2.10 billion
13 PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics & France UEFA Euro 2016 2.02 billion
14 Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks II & Muhammad Ali vs. Larry Holmes: The Last Hurrah 2.00 billion
15 Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics 1.50 billion

When reviewing the list of most-watched sporting events we see a mix between recent and past events alike. Undoubtedly, FIFA World Cups and Olympic Games are the two major sporting events that set the pace in terms of audience. On the other hand, it highlights Muhammad Ali’s star power to make boxing a global phenomenon at the time.

UEFA Euro 2020
Rio 2016 Paralympics
London 2012 Olympics
Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup

Global Competitions with the Largest Audiences

When it comes to sporting events that generate a lot of interest and viewers, we can find different disciplines. Leaving aside the Olympic Games, which are held in four-year cycles, world championships and major competitions are extremely popular. History, tradition, and current relevance are common factors for the popularity of these massive events:

  • Top International Football Competitions
    Football reigns in all metrics. It is the most important sport globally and this is reflected with solid numbers at the local, regional, and international levels. Some competitions that generate large viewerships are Champions League, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, and continental tournaments such as Euro or Copa America.
  • Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series
    The USA has a great sports culture and does not depend on interest outside its borders to create powerful audiences. The North American pro leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB) are among the most-watched content in the region. For the playoffs and finals, a large audience from different parts of the world joins in to swell the numbers.
  • Tour de France and Other Cycling Races
    The Grand Tours have a wide following internationally. Not only do die-hard cycling fans enjoy these events, but many casual fans as well. Although the debate is open about reliable and definitive numbers, the Tour de France has a great viewership every year.
  • Major Tennis and Golf Tournaments
    Some of the most coveted broadcast rights revolve around major tennis and golf competitions around the world. Grand Slams, Davis Cup, and Fed Cup are excellent events in terms of audience. Meanwhile, the major golf championships and the decisive tournaments throughout the calendar also present solid viewerships.
  • Formula 1 and Other Motorsports Categories
    Speed attracts millions of viewers every year. Formula 1 is the premium content of motorsports, with the permission of Moto GP. To this must be added traditional events of enormous prestige such as the 24 hours of Le Mans, Indy 500, or Daytona, which always show audience peaks in many countries.
Basketball game
Cycling race
Formula 1
Footbal game

Featured Bookmakers with Great Options

Although each region has its own characteristics, it is possible to draw a parallel between the most-watched sporting events and the events that generate the most interest in sports betting. Most punters are also sports fans and get active in the most popular competitions. Bookmakers know this and take full advantage of the highlights of the world sports calendar.

Along with the most-watched sporting events, it is common to find bonuses, offers, and promotions. In these events, the income of the sportsbooks explodes and it is also common to hear of punters who obtain great profits. Undoubtedly, international sports remain relevant and open avenues of entertainment thanks to broadcasts.