There is nothing in this world which brings people closer together around their television sets than a sporting event, and globally, we have some seen stunning figures for some of the world’s largest sporting bonanzas. Each country is different in terms of which sees most viewers for an event, in the US for example it is the Super Bowl and the NBA finals which gets top billing. Globally however there is a wide range of sport which people love to watch and the following are the most watched sports events of all time.
The Olympics has caught the public’s attention every time it coms around and the highest viewing figures which we have seen for the event came from the Rio and London Olympics in 2016 and 2012 respectively, drawing a global audience of 3.6 billion. The Olympics is the perfect sport to watch given that it features contestants from every nation on Earth, and that the sports are so varied that there is something for everyone to enjoy.
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup follows closely behind the Olympics as the most watched sporting event in the world and the 2018 World Cup in Russia amassed a total viewership of a whopping 3.4 billion people. The most watched game remains the final between Argentina and Germany in 2014, which was seen by just over 1 billion people worldwide. Despite the staggering viewership the game was a drab affair finishing 1-0 to Germany after extra time.
Cricket World Cup
Although cricket has the majority of its fame in just a handful of countries, those country have large populations which is why the 2015 ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand was able to count on an audience of 2.2 billion people. Cricket is huge in countries like India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Pakistan, as well as in Australia and New Zealand hence the monster viewing figures.
Muhammed Ali knew exactly how to draw a crowd and from his trash talking pre-fight to get eyes on the main event to the flamboyant way in which he conducted himself in the ring, he certainly eased people’s attention. Ali’s most watched fight was the rematch against Leon Spinks in 1978, with his final fight against Larry Holmes in 1980 tailing just closely behind, with both fights being watched by just over 2 billion people. In total Ali has 8 of his fights on the list of the most watched sporting events of all time, a mark of just how much people loved watching ‘The Greatest’ go to battle.
Tennis is a surprise inclusion in this list but in 2016 the annual Wimbledon grass championships gained a total global viewership of 1 billion people. Much of the attraction came down to the fact that tennis was going through a very rich period with incredible champions like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray in the men’s game, and in the women’s game Serena Williams was looking to lift her 7th Wimbledon title. The world tuned in as Williams and Murray were triumphant in the finals of this historical and prestigious competition.
And there you have it, the most watched sporting events on the planet.