Sport is a fascinating thing. It has a way of holding its viewers in the palm of its hand and on the edge of their seats. As much as we all enjoy watching a blockbuster movie such as Avengers: Endgame, or a thrilling drama show like Game of Thrones, nothing captures an audience quite like a live sporting event. Websites such as OddsChecker compare odds from online bookmakers and provide free offers on sporting events, which only helps add to the excitement.
Whether you’re a Manchester City fan watching them come back from 2-0 down against Liverpool in the final game of the EPL, or a fan of the LA Rams witnessing them score a last-gasp touchdown at Superbowl LVI to steal the Lombardi trophy away from the Cincinnati Bengals, sports fans will tell you – there is nothing that comes remotely close.
There’s a whole host of major events that captivate the world. And it may come as a surprise to most American readers, but hardly any US-based events make it onto this list. Sports that hardly get any coverage in the US, such as soccer and cricket, dominate the global viewing figures. With that being said, these are the five most watched sporting events in the world today.
5 – UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is the pinnacle of club football in Europe, and perhaps the world. The continent’s greatest teams, such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, all battle it out to be called champions of Europe.
Real Madrid are the current reigning champions. They lifted the famous ‘Big-Eared’ trophy for the 14th time in their illustrious history in June, defeating Liverpool in Paris’ Stade De France. An estimated 380 million people worldwide – some 270 million more than February’s Super Bowl – watched Vinicius Jr. score the winner in the French capital, breaking the hearts of Reds’ fans the world over.
4 – Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup takes place every four years and winning it is the greatest achievement in a rugby player’s career. The next installment of the competition will take place next fall in France, and the USA may be there. They’re currently locked in a qualifying battle with Kenya, Portugal, and Hong Kong to determine the 20th and final spot in the competition. South Africa enter the tournament as champions, after defeating England 32-12 in Tokyo in front of an estimated audience of 857 million.
3 – ICC Cricket World Cup
Cricket is a sport that just has not taken off Stateside. For many Americans, the sport has far too many rules and is too confusing to watch or play on a regular basis. The rest of the world have a different take. The world’s obsession with the sport even prompted Netflix to make a special episode on cricket in their ‘Explained’ series. The ICC announced after 2019’s tournament that there was a “global cumulative average audience of 1.6 billion for live coverage.” England would win that tournament in dramatic fashion, defeating New Zealand on home turf.
2 – Summer Olympics
The Olympics are the oldest sporting competition in the world. The modern version of the games is officially dated as taking place in 1896 in Athens. However, the Olympiad goes back many more years. It is thought to date all the way back to the days of Ancient Greece. The Olympics are a strange one, as there are multiple sporting events happening at any one time, but the event is thought to get an average of 600 million viewers every day for the two-week event.
1 – FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World cup is by far and away the most watched sporting event on the planet. Winning the famous gold trophy is the greatest achievement a footballer can make, and some of the greatest players in history – modern greats like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – have achieved that feat. The next World Cup gets underway in just under three months’ time, with Qatar hosting 32 of the world’s finest footballing nations. France enter the tournament as reigning champions after 1.1 billion people watched them defeat Croatia in Moscow to lift the trophy for the second time in their history.