What is the most popular sport in America? Ranking 15 most-watched sports

What is the most popular sport in America? Ranking 15 most-watched sports

Sports significantly contribute to social cohesion in society. They bring people together and create the world’s great personalities. For instance, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant are among the most famous American athletes. Interestingly, according to Los Angeles Times, the recently concluded Super Bowl LVI attracted an average audience of 112 million viewers on TV and streaming platforms. So, on that note, what is the most popular sport in America?

most popular sport in America
Football, baseball, netball, ice hockey, and soccer are the top five most-watched sports in the USA. Photo: @rodnae-prod
Source: UGC

The USA is home to many sports such as the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), among many others. As a result, the events get extensive media coverage and produce some of the highest-paid athletes in the world. However, these are not the only most popular US sports because the list is long.

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15 most popular sports in America

What is the most popular sport in America? No doubt, the US boasts a rich sports culture. However, its people have different preferences. As a result, there have been endless debates on which is the best sport in the US is over the years.

The list below is compiled based on viewership of the major events, highest-paid athletes, number of fans around the US, social media following, among many other factors.

15. Figure Skating

Skating is one of the most popular US sports in 2022. The number of its athletes and fans has been growing steadily over the years. Currently, the sport boasts over 186 thousand members across the US. In addition, NBC’s coverage of Figure Skating attracted 10.3 million viewers in the recently concluded Olympics.

14. Gymnastics

USA Gymnastics is another prominent athletic body in the USA. It brings together millions of athletes from across the country. Currently, there are over 4 million gymnasts in the USA. Some of the popular names in the sport include Simone Biles, Paige Spiranac, and Jordan Chiles.

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13. Volleyball

top sports in america
USA's Foluke Akinradewo, Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Jordan Larson celebrate their victory in the women's semi-final volleyball during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: YURI CORTEZ / AFP
Source: Getty Images

Volleyball was first introduced to the United States in 1895. How many people watch volleyball in the US? According to The Washington Post, Volleyball is enjoyed by over 37 million Americans. Famous American volleyball players include Karch Kiraly, Walsh Jennings, and Lloy Ball.

12. Badminton

Badminton was first played in the 19th century. Since then, its popularity in America has grown steadily. Mostly, the game is played in colleges, universities, and high schools in the USA. It has created legends such as Phillip Crew, Howard Bach, and Timothy Lam.

11. Motor Sports

Motor racing is another favourite sport for the American audience. Major events in the game include Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Formula Drift, and FIA World Endurance Championship. Motor Sports also enjoy impressive ratings in the USA.

10. Wrestling

Wrestling is another major sport in America and the world. It is not only a favourite for the kids but also adults. Primarily, the sport is widely recognized for its major event, WWE. It was founded in 1980, and its current CEO is Vince McMahon. Some of the world’s greatest wrestlers include Dwayne Johnson, John Cena, Steve Austin, and Triple H.

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9. Boxing

Boxing is undeniably another most watched sport in America. The US is home to legendary boxers such as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather. Major events attract huge audiences. In 2015, a boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao attracted over 4.4 million viewers.

8. Golf

Golf is widely recognized as a sport for the wealthy. However, that is not necessarily the case. It has been in existence since the 15th century. At some point, it was the 6th most-watched sport in America. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Dustin Johnson are famous US golf athletes.

7. Mixed Martial Arts

What is the most popular sport in the USA?
Cameroon's Francis Ngannou (R) and France's Ciryl Gane (L) fight for the heavyweight title at the Honda Center in California on January 22, 2022. Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN
Source: Getty Images

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport loved by both genders in the US. Since its inception, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has received extensive media coverage in America.

6. Tennis

Tennis was first introduced in America in 1881. Over the years, its participation has increased overwhelmingly. In 2020, its participation in the US rose to 22%. The most popular tennis tournaments include the US Open, Miami Open, Olympic Games, Cincinnati Open, Grand Slams, and Hall of Fame Open.

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5. Soccer

What are the top five popular sports in America in 2022? Soccer comes fifth on the list of top 5 sports in America. Major League Soccer (MLS) is known to attract massive viewership in the USA. The tournament was founded by Lamar Hunt and Philip Anschutz on 17 December 1993. Interestingly, the US alone has more than 110 million soccer fanatics globally.

4. Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey is another fan's favourite game in America. It was first played in 1893 in the USA. Primarily, the game is more prevalent in states such as Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Approximately 12% of the US population are avid fanatics of the NHL.

3. Basketball

most watched sports in america
LeBron James (6) gestures to fans after taking a charge late in the game as teammates DeAndre Jordan (10) and Kent Bazemore (9) come to help him up at Staples Center. Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times
Source: Getty Images

Basketball is not an ordinary sport in America. Currently, the NBA is the third most popular league in the country. Over a long time, it has either been ranked on the 2nd or 3rd position in the list. Some of the greatest basketball players include LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and James Harden. Its viewership ratings have always been on the highest since its inception.

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2. Baseball

Baseball was first played in the US in 1862. Since then, Major League Baseball has won the hearts of many Americans. It is more prevalent in New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, MO, and Atlanta, GA. Some of the big names in the competition include Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, and Jacob deGrom.

1. American Football

Is NFL the most popular sport in America? Yes. Interestingly, more significant events get up to 38.8% viewership ratings. The NFL is a billion-dollar industry, with its players being among the most-paid athletes in the world. A survey done by ESPN revealed that there are over 160 million NFL fans in America. In other words, nearly half the US population are avid fans of the NFL.

American Football is the most popular sport in America. However, considering its rich sports culture, the US population also loves other sports such as baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, among many others. What is your favourite from the list above?

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READ ALSO: What is the hardest sport in the world? Top 10 list of the toughest sports

Briefly.co.za recently published another article on the hardest sports in the world. Their degree of difficulty is based on several factors such as endurance, flexibility, and agility.

The physical and mental energy involved in different sports significantly vary. Boxing is classified as the toughest among them all. Read the post to learn more about the sports.

Source: Briefly News

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