Watching professional sports and rooting for the teams and individual players on their road to success is a universally favorite activity. No matter where you come from and what the traditions and the culture in your part of the world imply, there has to be at least one sport you like watching. For most people it is a few, and for the sports fans it is multiple leagues and tournaments that take place at the same time around the globe.
If you have ever wondered what some of the most popular sports leagues in the world are, the answers may surprise you. In this article you will learn about the most favorite domestic leagues that people regardless of the country they are form enjoy and watch passionately. Various factors determined the entries on this list, form the revenue the matches in the leagues bring and the sports apparel sold, to the number of people in the stands and on TV. Then there is the question of sponsorship deals and betting appeal. If you are wondering which of these is the best for sports bettors and want to learn more about sports betting in general, make sure to check out bookmakeradvisor.
1. National Football League
The most popular American football league on the planet is of course the one played in the United States. It is however astonishingly popular well outside of US borders due to the amazing athletes, thrilling games, and the pinnacle of the league in the form of Super Bowl, the most viewed television event. The half-time show usually features the biggest names in entertainment singing the national anthem and their own hits. The league consists of 32 teams split evenly into two conferences. After each team plays 17 games, the playoffs start. The conference champions meet and play the famed Super Bowl. Some of the most popular teams include Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
It is a surprise to many, but the most popular football league in the world and the second-most popular professional sports league is the German Bundesliga. There are 18 teams participating in it with the heavyweights of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund leading the way. The matches are thrilling and with a lot of goals, and some of the biggest stars in the sport plat for the German teams. Since the year 1962 when the league started, 53 different teams competed. Four top seeded teams are eligible for the UEFA Champions League while the fifth seed goes to UEFA Europa League. Two last seeded are relegated while the third last plays relegation playoffs.
3. FA Premier League
If you ask an average football fan what their favorite domestic league is, they would probably say the first league of England which is the FA Premier League. Despite the Bundesliga being more popular according to the parameters, England’s football is arguably the most interesting since the league features the highest number of good teams out of any other big five football league. Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham are all capable of winning it all each season with numerous other teams that round up the 20-team league breathing down their neck. Anyone can beat anyone, and although there are less goals on average than in other leagues and the often questionable referee decisions, it is still the football fan’s most popular league all around.
4. National Basketball League
The best basketball league in the world features some truly amazing stars and legendary teams that have been competing for the lucrative championship trophy for decades. The league is made up of 30 teams split into the Western and Eastern Conferences evenly. Each team plays 82 games in the regular season and the top 8 seeded teams in each conference advance to the playoffs. The Western and Eastern champions face off in the NBA Finals which are the second most popular and watched American sporting event. Superstars like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and many others have managed to elevate the league and the sport well outside of American borders and make the NBA the dream destination of every basketball player.
5. Major League Baseball
Despite many other countries’ love for the sport, baseball is by far the biggest in America. The games draw in tens of thousands of people into the stands, with an average game having over 30,000 spectators. Established in 1903, it features 30 teams. Most popular and successful teams include New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants. Rivalries are huge and the fans are as passionate as they come. It is a common curtesy and trend to hold cookouts in the parking around the home team’s stadium, a time when the fans get together and make a day out of it before the game even starts.
6. La Liga / Spanish Primera
For long, the Spanish first league has been the best in the world despite the German and English leagues having more fans around the world. If we were to measure the teams’ success, Barcelona and Real Madrid take the cake when it comes to European and world cups and leagues. La Liga does not have as many top teams as England nor it is as popular worldwide as the Bundesliga, but the stars of the game and the exciting rivalries like the El Classico are enough to make it more fun to watch. Formed in 1929, 20 teams compete for the trophy. According to the UEFA national league coefficient ranking, Spanish Primera ranks first due to the success of its teams in European competitions. It has an average attendance of over 30,000 fans, and millions more following on their TVs. It certainly helps that Lionel Messi has played in the league for years and that Cristiano Ronaldo was also there until recently.
- Italian Serie A – First Italian association football (soccer) league
- France Ligue 1 – First French association football (soccer) league
- Australian Football League – Australian football (footy), similar to American football and rugby
- Indian Premier League – India’s top association football (Soccer) league
- Nippon Professional Baseball – Japan’s top baseball league
- Big Bash League – Australian top cricket league