Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World Till Now

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World 2017-18

Today we are going to take a look at the most popular sports in the world till now. But before we do that it is important to know the importance of sports and the criteria that should be used to make a ranking of sports.

Sports play an important role in our lives. From the early childhood years where we take sports very seriously to the later years in life where we consider it as a hobby, a fitness ritual, and sometimes even a profession. Today in every part of the world some sport is passionately followed.

The difference between rugby, Australian football, and American football. (Source: American Football)

People in different regions of the world have different favorite sports. This makes ranking sports quite a challenging and difficult job. This is exactly why it is hard to ascertain the reliability and accuracy of different sports lists out there.

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Here, it is important to know exactly what do we mean by most popular sports. The word “popular” could mean “most-watched sports,” “most played sports,” or “most revenue-generating sports”. But in all honesty, it would be unfair to rank the sports by popularity if we take just one or two criteria. Therefore, we have decided to use 15 different criteria in order to rank the most popular sports in the world.

Criteria Used for Ranking:

  1. Global Fan Base and Audience
  2. Viewership on TV
  3. TV Rights Deals
  4. Popularity on Internet
  5. Presence on Social Media
  6. Number of Professional Leagues in the World
  7. Average Salary of Athletes in the Top Leagues
  8. Sponsorship Deals
  9. Number of Countries in Which the Sport is Popular
  10. Biggest Competition
  11. Relevancy Throughout the Year
  12. Gender Equality
  13. Access to the General Public
  14. Number of Amateur Players in The World
  15. The prominence of the sport in sports headlines on print and electronic media

We have used these extensive criteria in order to make sure that we can accurately ascertain the popularity of different sports and rank them in the correct order. Hopefully, this list compiled after thorough research would be helpful for you. Do let us know what you think about this list and the popularity of different sports in the world in the comments section below.

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Here is a Table of Top 10 Popular Sports

rank Sport Estimated Fans Regional Popularity
1. Soccer / Association Football 3.5 Billion Europe, Africa, Asia, America
2. Cricket 2.5 Billion Asia, Australia, UK
3. Basketball 2.2 Billion US, Canada, China, and the Philippines
4. Field Hockey 2 Billion Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia
5. Tennis 1 Billion Europe, the Americas, and Asia
6. Volleyball 900 Million Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Australia
7. Table Tennis 850 Million Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas
8. Baseball 500 Million

US, Japan, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic

9 Americal FootballRugby 410 Million410 Million USA mainlyFrance, England, New Zealand, South Africa
10 Golf 390 Million Europe, Asia, America, Canada


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