Which team sports are watched by all? Some of the entries surprised and thrilled me and I hope they will do the same to you. Here are the most popular team sports with the highest number of estimated viewing fans.
Association football is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the most followed sport around the world. Half the world watches football and that’s no exaggeration. I mean this quite literally, there are 3.5 billion football fans (estimated) around the globe.
Imagine every other person you know following football, collecting trading cards, and sharing their opinion on who the winner is going to be. It’s popular in Europe, Asia, Africa, and even America. However, that’s not the surprise I was talking about. It’s pretty much a no-brainer.
Believe it or not, the second most followed team sport in the world is cricket. 2.5 billion people follow the matches intently. Who is surprised by this? Well, the Europeans and Americans, really. The sport is quite popular in Asia, specifically in India. It was brought there by the British Empire, which is why the sport also has a great following in Australia and the UK. However, Indian cricket is on a whole other level than the rest.
We are back in the familiar territory of the sports loved in Europe and the US. However, basketball is also popular in China and the Philippines. It is only slightly behind cricket in terms of global audience: 2.2 billion. Mind you, there is some dispute on who has the best teams and players, and the rules are slightly different from one league to the next. However, like football, basketball is one of those sports that are easy to follow and play with your friends and neighbours, as it demands very little equipment.
This is another surprise, I must admit. I was expecting another member of the hockey family here: ice hockey. However, I only have sitcoms and crime series to blame for that. Field hockey has about 2 billion fans around the globe. People in Africa and Europe love it. It’s popular in Asia and Australia, as well.
You were convinced that I was going to put tennis here, weren’t you? I was tempted, as the sport has a large following. However, we are talking about team sports here. So, our next logical entry is volleyball.
There are about 900 million fans in the world. And whenever the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship or FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship rolls around, almost a billion people get more than their fair share of excitement. The current world champion in men’s volleyball is Poland and in women’s Serbia.