When talking about the most-awaited sports events in the United States, many will be quick to say it’s the NBA, NFL, or the MLB. True enough these sports events have millions of followers all over the world, but there are still plenty of sports tournaments that are even more popular than these events.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top leagues in different sports that people follow to simply watch or even bet on. Keep on reading to see if your favorites made the list!
Indian Premier League
The second most popular sport worldwide is cricket with over 2.5 billion fans. This sport is most popular in countries like India, Australia, and Pakistan. Because of its popularity, online cricket betting is also a huge hit, and the Indian Premier League is one of the most popular cricket events.
It is estimated that over 380 million fans would watch the IPL each year. The IPL would usually start between March and May, and this year, it has kicked off on March 26. This year’s IPL is much awaited because it is now participated by 10 teams in total.
Before this year, the IPL would only host matches between eight teams, and this is why this season is a big deal to many fans. While it is a sports tournament most popular in India, the teams also have international players, and this is why it is also very popular outside the country.
FIFA World Cup
The sport which defeats cricket in terms of popularity is football or soccer, depending on what you call it from where you are. It is estimated that football has over 3.5 billion fans worldwide. It is most popular in European countries, but it is also followed by many people from Central and South America and Africa.
There are plenty of popular football tournaments that fans love and one of them is the FIFA World Cup. This is an event that happens every four years. It’s a long process for teams to qualify for this prestigious football competition.
Aside from the qualifications process, the host country also needs time to prepare for this event because of its big following. According to FIFA, the 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia had around 517 million viewers, and more than 1.1 billion people tuned in during the first 90 minutes.
The next FIFA World Cup will be this year and it is scheduled to start on November 21 and end on December 18. It will be hosted in Qatar throughout 8 venues and five cities. The number of participating teams is 32.
Cricket World Cup
Another cricket event that is much awaited is the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup. This too takes place every four years, and the most recent one took place in 2019 and was hosted by England and Wales. The viewership of this cricket event is estimated to be around 167 million worldwide.
This is also mainly popular in India, Pakistan, Australia, and some parts of Europe. When it comes to record holders, Australia is the most successful as it has won this tournament five times. There was even a time when Australia won three times in a row. This happened in 1999, 2003, and 2007.
The next Cricket World Cup, which is the 13th edition of this prestigious event, is going to happen next year. It will be hosted by India and it is scheduled to run from October to November 2023. The number of teams that participate in this tournament is usually 20, but by 2027, this will be reduced to 14.
UEFA Champions League
When talking about football tournaments, the UEFA Champions League is one not to miss. This is a long-format football tournament and it usually begins in late June with different rounds. The final would usually take place in May of the following year. This makes it almost a year-long tournament.
In total, 80 teams would participate in this league each year, and only 32 would reach the group stage. The Champions League usually gets excited when the last six teams are announced. The top four teams will then head to the semi-finals, which already started in April.
This year’s Champions final is scheduled for May 28, 2022, which will be held at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. Each year, around 380 to 400 million viewers would tune in to the final, and around the same numbers are expected to watch this year.