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Top 10 most followed sports of world in 2017

To rank sports according to their popularity is really a contradictory task. I am here with top sports of 2017 taking multiple criteria.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 21.03.2018
Most Popular sports in the world | Sports Social Blog

To rank sports according to their popularity is really a contradictory task. As Indian, my favorite sport is Cricket but every region or country has their own favorite sport. There can be many criteria to decide most followed sport-

1)  TV viewership

2)  Audience

3)  No of Professional leagues around the world

4)  Average athlete salary

5)  Endorsement & Sponsorship deals

10) Golf

Golf is one of the oldest sports in this list having been established in the 13th Century in Scotland, and it has successfully spread around the world.  A very docile sport involving no real physical competition and can be played by all ages.

Golf is not played by all countries some people say that Golf is a sport for developed countries. Golf is a major sport for countries like US, UK, Japan, Korea etc.

Everybody knows that Tiger Woods has dominated the list of richest athletes for many consecutive years. So this game has massive earning potential.

9) Volleyball

Volleyball is a simple game with little requirements. In India, you must have noticed that almost every school and college has volleyball court because all you need is ball and net. On professional level, players with tall heights are preferred because of the extra reach they have so if your height is somewhere to the north of 6 feet and you like this sport so you should fancy your chances in this sport. Volleyball has most number of national federations than any sport.

8) Boxing

Boxing is a global sport like tennis, soccer. Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined set of time in a boxing ring.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao has dominated the rich list in last 10 years while boxing also boost some of the greatest athletes to have ever lived.

Amateur Boxing is also part of Olympic and boxing event is a ray of hope for Indians to win a medal in Olympic.

Almost everyone takes interest in watching boxing. And boxing is quite popular in women also. Floyd Mayweather vs Many Pacquiao was the highest grossing boxing fight of all times generating over $400 million in revenue.

7) Formula 1

Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. F1 is by far the most popular motorsport in the world. It might be surprising for you but around 550 million people tune in every year at some stage of Formula 1 season which runs from March to November.

6) Badminton

It may come as a surprise to some people that badminton is among the world’s most popular sports. However, it is extremely popular and played regularly by an estimated 220 million people around the world. It is particularly popular in Asia, with many of the best players ever to grace the game hailing from the continent.

5) Field Hockey

Hockey is also one of the most followed sport in the world. Hockey is fast-paced sport which is played by both men and women of around 100 countries on 5 continents around the world.

Hockey is one of the favorite event of Olympic. Field hockey is a highly technical sport, played by 10 outfield players plus a goalkeeper and its rules differ from the Ice Hockey variation of the sport.

4) Tennis

Widely regarded as one of the most followed sport in the world. A global reach and over a 1 billion followers makes Tennis the most popular individual based sport.

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles).

This sport offers highest prize money in individual sport be it Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon. Wimbledon is one of the most prestigious event. You must have seen Federer and Djokovic are always in list of top 10 of richest athlete.

3) Cricket  

Don’t know about the world but in India Cricket is the most followed sport. Cricket is like religion in India. Cricket owes its popularity to the Indian Sub-continent, Australia and England. Originated in England, the game quickly became popular in all the swaths of lands that were once colonized by the Great Britain. In the middle of 20th Century, Britain left almost all its colonies but one thing which never left was cricket.

Cricket is third most watched sport in the world. Estimated 2 billion + followers makes cricket one of the most popular sport mainly in commonwealth countries like England, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, Caribbean’s and South Africa.

2) Basketball

The Federation of International Basketball Associations estimates a minimum of 450 million people plays the sport around the world. Basketball do have a scope to establish itself as undisputed second biggest sport in the world behind football.

Basketball has many leagues NBA (American) , Liga ACB (Spain), Heba A1 (Greece), Liga Nacional (Argentina), Lega Basket Serie A (Italy), Turkish Basketball League(Turkey), Chinese Basketball Association (China), French Pro A League (France) .

NBA average yearly salary for athlete is around $4.4 million a year, that’s second highest average wage of any sport league in the world. While top 40 players in NBA earn more than $13 million a year in salary while top 10 earn more than $22 million a year with Kobe Bryant earning as much as $25 million a year. Basketball is among the fastest growing sport.

1) Soccer

Football is one of the most accessible sport in the world and there is hardly anyone in this world who has not kick a ball at some point in their life. Football dominate sports headlines in some of the major countries in the world including almost all European nations like United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain etc. In South America football is more than just a game, it represent dreams and joy for kids in Brazil, Argentina and other latin countries. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics which will put every argument to rest that Football is the biggest and most popular sport in the world.

Football World Cup is by far the most watched sports competition in the world. 3.9 billion people tune in at some point during the FIFA World Cup 2014 making it by far the biggest sport competition. While the final of 2014 world cup was watched by as many 700 million people all around the globe.

Infographics: Popularity of sports in different countries.

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