Top Ten Most Popular Professional Sports Leagues in the World

There are many domestic or international leagues in the world. Some leagues are popular by revenue and some are popular by fan following. In this article, you can read which is the Most Popular Professional Sports leagues in the world by attendance, but we can share their annual revenues and their brand value.

10. Canadian Football League (CFL)

tenth most popular sports league

In our top ten list, the tenth most popular professional sports leagues in the world is the Canadian Football League (CFL). Canadian Football League is a Rugby Football tournament that was founded on January 19, 1958. The Inaugural season was held in 1958 and till now 62 tournaments were conducted. The most successful team in the tournament is Edmonton Football Team who won 11 titles and the most recent champion is Winnipeg Blue Bombers. It features a 21-week long regular season between nine professional teams and each team plays 18 games. Approximately 1856263 peoples were present in the stadium during the last season with an average of 22,916 which is the tenth highest in the world. As of 2019, the CFL generates $237 million as revenue in a year.

9. UEFA Europa League (UEL)

ninth most popular sports league

The ninth most popular professional sports league is the UEFA Europa League (UEL). The UEFA Europa League also known as UEFA Cup is an annual association football club competition organized by UEFA. It was founded in 1971 and rebranded in 2009 as UEFA Europa League. After the UEFA Champions League, it is considered as the second most important international club competition for European clubs. Since its inception, 50 tournaments were conducted successfully. Sevilla won six competitions and holds the record for the most victories. There are 160 clubs who play UEL but only 48 teams will reach in the group stage. The average attendance was 24,576 with the total attendance of 50,38,109 which makes it the ninth populous sports league in the world. Its annual revenue reached up to $430.48 million dollars.

8. Major League Baseball (MLB)

eighth most popular sports league

Major League Baseball (MLB) stood the eighth spot in the list of most popular professional sports leagues in the world. Major League Baseball is an American based professional baseball tournament/league which is played in the United States and Canada. It was founded in 1903, till now 115 seasons were conducted in the shape of 66 American Leagues (AL) and 49 National Leagues (NL). The AL and NL were formed as separate legal entities in 1901 and 1876 respectively. Teams play 162 games in each season and 30 teams will participate to get the title. New York Yankees is the most successful team and won 27 times Major League Baseball title. The MLB average attendance in the regular season is 28,339 per match which is the eighth highest in the world. In 2019, according to Forbes, the MLB grossed a record $10.7 billion ($ 10,700 Million) in revenue and the average MLB team is now worth $1.85 billion.

7. All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship

seventh most popular sports league

The seventh most popular professional league is GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship which is also known as All-Ireland Championship is an annual inter-county hurling competition. It was founded in 1887 and has been contested every year. Twelve teams participated in every season of the league. Since its inception, 132 tournaments were conducted by the GAA. The big three of the league are Kilkenny, Cork and Tipperary which they have won 94 championships collectively. Kilkenny is the most successful club that won the title 36 times. The average attendance in the league is 29,075 per match which is the seventh highest in the world.

6. Australian Football League (AFL)

Australian Football League

The Australian Football League (AFL) formerly known as Victorian Football League (1897 – 1989) is the pre-eminent professional men’s competition of Australian Rules football. It was founded on the 2nd of October, 1896 and the Inaugural season was conducted in 1897. The league is played between 18 teams from the states and mainland territories of Australia. The team who won the grand finale is termed as “Premiers” and is awarded the premiership cup. Till now 115 premierships were conducted in which Carlton and Essendon won the title 16 times. The average attendance in the last premiership is 36,687 which is the sixth-highest in the world. The AFL generates $562 million in revenue annually.

5. Bundesliga

Bundsliga

Bundesliga stood the fifth spot in the list of top ten most popular professional sports leagues in the world. Bundesliga also termed as FuBball Bundesliga is a German-based professional association football league which is organized by Deutsche FuBball Liga (DFL). It was founded in 1962 and the inaugural season was played in 1963. The league is played between 18 teams. Since its inception, 57 tournaments were conducted and the Bayern Munich won the title 29 times. The average attendance in the league is 43,458 which is fifth highest. The league generates $4738 Million during a year.

4. UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League

The fourth most popular professional sports league is the UEFA Champions League (UCL). UEFA Champions League also known as the European Cup is an annual association football club competition that is contested by top-division European clubs. UCL is one of the most prominent football competitions in the world and one of the most prestigious club competitions in European Football. It was founded in 1955 and rebranded in 1992. Since its inauguration, 65 tournaments were conducted successfully. Real Madrid has the highest number of victories and declared as the most successful club in UCL after winning 13 titles. The tournament format is Double Round Robin which is played between 32 teams, divided into eight groups.  The annual revenue of the UCL is $3338.5 million US Dollars. The average attendance in the last season was 49,304 per match. The fan following around the world making UCL is the fourth popular professional sports league in the world.

See also: Top Ten Most Winning Football Clubs of UEFA Champions League

3. Indian Premier League (IPL)

third most popular sports league

Now we move towards the third spot, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the third most popular sports league in the world. The IPL is an Indian based professional Twenty20 cricket league which is played between eight-team every year. Its inaugural edition was conducted in 2009 and till now 12 editions were conducted successfully. The Mumbai Indians won the title 4 times and declared as the most successful team in the tournament. The brand value of the tournament is $6700 million US dollars. The average attendance in the tournament is 58,006 per match.

2. National Football League (NFL)

second most popular sports league

The National Football League (NFL) is the second most popular sports league in the world after Formula One. The NFL is the highest professional level of American football competition in the world. It was founded on 20th August 1920. It was also known as the American Professional Football Conference and the American Professional Football Association. The NFL is played between 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The NFL’s every team playing 16 games every week and the 17-week tournament starts from early September to ends in late December. Since its inauguration, 100 seasons were conducted successfully. The Green Bay Packers won the title 13 times and hold the most combined NFL championship, winning the 9 titles before the Super Bowl era and 4 Super Bowls afterward. The NFL generates $13,494 million in a year which makes it the wealthiest professional sports league in the world. The average attendance in the season is 67,405 per match.

1. Formula One

first most popular sports league

The most popular sports league in the world by attendance is Formula one. Formula One also known as Formula 1 or F1 is the primer class of international single-seater auto racing Championship. The F1 is owned by Liberty Media and sanctioned by Federation Internationale de I’Automobile (FIA). It was founded in 1950 as World Drivers’ Championship and till now 70 tournaments were conducted successfully. The World Drivers’ Championship was rebranded in 1981 as FIA Formula One World Championship. The season of the Formula One is consisting of a series of races which is known as the Grand Prix. In order to determine the two annual World Championship, the result of each race is evaluated using a point system. As per Forbes the brand value of the Formula One is $4005 million US Dollars. It generates $2395 Million in revenue during the last year. The average attendance in the last year is 2,03,570 per match.

 

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