World-famous sporting events attract massive audiences and huge profits. College atmospheres to two-wheeled races through the Pyrenees draw sports fans from all around the globe to watch their idols compete against one another. But how can one determine which sports are the most beloved? Some events, like the Olympics or FIFA World Cup, may draw obvious comparisons, while other surprising sports may surprise with how many viewers they attract.
Traditional methods for measuring viewership were television ratings; however, with streaming becoming an option this has become increasingly complex; some sports broadcast on multiple channels therefore their ratings can differ depending on where they air. As some sports are specific to certain countries, determining the most-watched ones requires considering multiple aspects, including ticket sales, tourist numbers and media coverage. As part of their efforts to develop an objective means of measuring major sporting events, a group of experts developed what they dubbed the Global Sports Impact (GSI) project. This methodology uses various metrics across 700 events over 12 years – it was put through its paces by over 700 of them alone!
The results of the Global Sports Index have been astounding. Here are 10 of the major sporting events of 2016-17:
1. The Olympic Games The Olympic Games is an international multi-sport competition held every four years that brings athletes from around the globe together in competition. Over 200 events take place both Summer and Winter; their last two editions were watched by over two billion viewers worldwide!
2. The UEFA Champions League Final
Football fans around the globe love watching Europe’s top teams compete for glory every year, and in 2023’s final, an estimated 450 million viewers tuned in!
Since 1877, the All England Club has hosted an iconic tennis tournament known as Wimbledon. Boasting immaculate green surfaces on Henman Hill and obligatory white sporting attire required of participants, Wimbledon remains one of the world’s premier sporting events with over 1 billion people viewing its final in just two years!
4. Tour de France
Though claims of reaching 3.5 billion viewers may be questionable, there’s no denying the magnitude of this event. Competitors cover over 3,500 kilometers while climbing thousands of feet while millions flock out in person to view it live! Plus it is broadcast in over 130 countries!
5. Cricket World Cup
While not the most-followed sport globally, Cricket World Cup still manages to draw huge audiences each year. As well as featuring some of the finest teams from across the globe in competition with each edition being opened and closed with extravagant ceremonies that make this an event not to miss!