Sports are a huge passion for much of the world’s population, with many fans heading to events to witness the action live from the stadiums and venues in which they are performed, whilst even more of us have to accept that the closest that we might be able to get is to watching it on television.
Of course, there are a number of different advantages that can be experienced by both methods, with some suggesting that the authenticity and the atmosphere is something that would be hard to replicate if not at an event in person, whilst some would argue that they are able to enjoy the benefits of being able to see more of the action on a screen, have the ability to watch replays and for some, even be able to use and access an online casino where they can play their favourite games as they wait for the action to start or restart after an interval.
Nonetheless, there is no doubt that many of these sporting events are able to attract audiences in the billions, with many of them appealing to spectators all around the world. However, what are some of the most watched sports and events that take place regularly on the calendar? Indeed, some of the answers will be rather surprising, whilst others would have to be considered predictable.
1. Tour de France – 3.5 billion viewers
If not one of the most famous cycling races to take place each year, the Tour de France is certainly one of the biggest events to happen annually in the French summer. According to recent figures, it has been claimed that around 3.5 billion people have tuned in to watch the race around the world each year, thus making the 23-day, 2,200-mile race that consists of 21 different stages the most watched sporting event in the world.
2. FIFA World Cup – 3.3 billion viewers
With football/soccer being amongst the top sports in the world for popularity, the FIFA World Cup was always going to be high on the list and it is not a shock that a reported 3.3 billion people watched the 2018 edition (almost half of the world’s population)! The competition takes place every four years, so many will certainly be waiting in anticipation as it gets closer on the sporting calendar. The next one is not very far away, either, as the 2022 tournament gets underway in around 12 months time in December 2022!
3. Cricket World Cup – 2.6 billion viewers
The sport of cricket is one that can divide a sporting community down the middle as many will love it as equally as others will despise it. However, when those that love it come from rather populous countries such as the United Kingdom, South Africa, India and Australia, it perhaps should not be a shock that the Cricket World Cup is one of the top sporting events in regards to viewership.
Indeed, the championship takes place every four years, and it seems the sport is on the rise in regard to viewership as the most recent edition of the competition (2019 in England and Wales) created a new record, with 2.6 billion tuning in. The 2023 Cricket World Cup could smash those figures, though, as it is scheduled to take part in India.
4. Summer Olympic Games – 2 billion viewers
When thinking of a sporting event that is massive around the world, the Summer Olympic Games is always going to be one that should rank rather highly, regardless of the aspects or elements being applied. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that it ranks highly when finding out the viewing figures.
Billions (two, in fact) continue to regularly watch the games that take place every four years, as countries come together and cheer on their athletes to win a gold medal in the various sporting disciplines that are competed in.
5. Winter Games – Approx. 2 billion viewers
Similarly to the Summer Games, the Winter Olympics is another sporting event that continues to appeal to much of the world and attract a global audience. The Winter Games, which also take place every four years, are held over 17 days in which sports such as ice hockey, skiing and figure skating are competed. The 2022 edition of the games (which will be in Beijing), will want to attract more than the 1.92 billion viewers that watched in 2018, as it knows the 2014 event had managed to attract more than 2 billion in total (2.06 billion).