Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (2022)

Here we are going to make the list of most popular Sports, most-watched Sports, most revenue-generating Sports, or most played sports in America. The list of most popular sports in America will tell you about Americans’ preference for sports.

Our source of information is the websites that are Most Searched Sports or Most Browsed Sports in America. Don’t forget to comment below if you feel we didn’t include any popular sport.

Most Popular Sports in America | 2022 Updates

Content Summery

  • Most Popular Sports in America | 2022 Updates
    • 10. Badminton
    • 9. Motor Sports – America’s Favorite Sport
    • 8. Wrestling | WWE – Highly Participated Sport
    • 7. Golf – Richest Sport in America
    • 6. Tennis – Popular Sports USA 2022
    • 5. Soccer/Football/Association Football (MLS)
    • 4. Ice Hockey (NHL) – Most Played Sport in America
    • 3. Basketball (NBA) – Most Watched Sport in the USA
    • 2. Baseball (MLB) – Most Popular Sport in America
    • 1. American Football (NFL) – Most Popular Sport in the USA
    • Bonus: Martial Arts (Honorable Mention)
    • Final Words
  • Most Popular Sports in America – Detailed Statistics – Top 5 In 2022
  • MostPopular Sports in America – Infographics
  • FAQs RegardingPopular Sports in America
    • Q. What is the most popular sport in the USA?
    • Q. What are the top five popular sports in America in 2022?
    • Q. What is the most played and watched sport in the USA?
    • Q. Who is the highest-paid sportsman in America?

We have calculated the viewership and the total participation in particular sports while making our power ranking this year. So, here are the detailed stats of the most popular sports in the USA.

10. Badminton

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (1)

Badminton is one of the best and most amazing sports on the American sports list. Many people are playing this game just for entertainment, but at a competitive level, this game has no name.

Badminton is also an easy game that people can play anywhere and in any place. This game is primarily played in Universities, Colleges, and Schools.

It’s not a hugely popular sport in the United States, such as in China, Malaysia, Denmark, and Indonesia. But still, the 10th most popular sport in the country.

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9. Motor Sports – America’s Favorite Sport

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (2)

Motor Sports, including auto-car and motorcycle racing, is the 9th sport on the list of most-watched sports in the USA. NASCAR is the most prominent organization in the USA which organizes races in America.

Motor Sports is the 2nd most-watched sport after football on the American continent.

8. Wrestling | WWE – Highly Participated Sport

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (3)

Pro wrestling is the next most popular sport in the USA. The American people highly follow the wrestling organized under WWE.

John Cena, Undertaker, Stone Cold, and The Rock are some of the most popular WWE superstars in the USA in 2022.

7. Golf – Richest Sport in America

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (4)

Golf is the 7th most popular sport in the USA. Tiger Woods is arguably the most popular contemporary Golf figure in the United States.

Besides, he is also among the greatest golfers of all time, which made Americans very proud. Golf is also the 8th most popular sport in the world.

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6. Tennis – Popular Sports USA 2022

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (5)

Tennis is the next sport on the list of most popular sports in America. This game is equally popular with men & women. The greatest tennis players of all time, like Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, and others, are the current inspirations for youngsters in America.

The United States has had a glorious record in tennis since Americans started participating in this sport.

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (6)

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. Soccer is the fifth most popular sport in America. However, soccer is not as popular as Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Ice-Hockey in America.

It still has enormous viewership and participation in soccer. After introducinggreat soccer players like David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, MLS has witnessed a sharp increase in viewership.

4. Ice Hockey (NHL) – Most Played Sport in America

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (7)

It is known as “hockey”; the name “ice hockey” is used in countries where “hockey” generally refers to field hockey. It is the 4th most popular sport in America. Hockey is most prevalent in areas of North America (particularly Canada and northern parts of the United States) and Europe.

In North America, the National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest level for men’s hockey and the most popular. America Won its first Gold Medal in Winters Olympics. With the introduction of artificial ice rinks, hockey has today become one of the most popular pastime indoor sports.

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3. Basketball (NBA) – Most Watched Sport in the USA

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (8)

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the USA after Football & Baseball. Also, it is the 10th most followed sport in the world. Basketball competitions are organized by the National Basketball Association (NBA).

NBA has produced some greatest basketball players like Michael Jordan and LeBron James. And with an estimated 14,000 attendance per match, Basketball is the 3rd most popular sport in the United States.

2. Baseball (MLB) – Most Popular Sport in America

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (9)

Baseball is the 2nd most popular sport in America and the 7th most popular sport in the world. This sport is also known as the United State’s national pastime. In America, there are mainly two levels of baseball competition, minor league baseball and major league baseball (MLB).

The popularity of baseball has not just touched a great height in America but all over the world. A considerable number of the audience are now following baseball matches.

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (10)

American Football is the most popular sport in America. Football is also the 9th most popular sport all around the world. The biggest competition is organized by the National Football League (NFL). Football or Gridiron is More Popular in Southern areas of America, Like Texas, Florida, and California.

People of America are not just watching football in their homes. Fans are coming by the thousands to watch games in stadiums. In 2012 the league had an average attendance of 67,604 fans at each game. That is more than any other sports league in the world. Besides, this league now also houses some of the most handsome NFL players in 2022.

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With the attraction of money and fame, football is the most popular sport in America. The list of highest-paid athletes in the world is mainly dominated by American football players. Nowadays, you can also watch Thursday Night Football from anywhere in the world and enjoy fast and high-quality streaming.

Bonus: Martial Arts (Honorable Mention)

The youngsters in America are developing an interest in martial arts. And that is why it has earned its place among the top 10 most popular sports in America.

Final Words

Feel free to leave a comment about this list of the Most Popular Sports in America. Let us know about its accuracy.

Most Popular Sports in America – Detailed Statistics – Top 5 In 2022

SportViewership %TV viewing record (Since 2005)Major professional leagueParticipantsNCAA DI Teams (Men + Women)States (HS)
American football38.8%111.9mNational Football League8.9 million249 (249M + 0W)50
Basketball15.3%30.8mNational Basketball Association24.4 million698 (351M + 349W)50
Baseball-Softball14.8%40.0mMajor League Baseball23.3 million589 (298M + 291W)48
Soccer8.2%27.3mMajor League Soccer13.6 million531 (205M + 332W)50
Ice hockey3.8%27.6mNational Hockey League3.1 million95 (59M + 36W)

15

MostPopular Sports in America – Infographics

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America | Viewership & TV Ratings (11)

FAQs RegardingPopular Sports in America

Q. What is the most popular sport in the USA?

In the United States, American football is the most popular sport. Besides being the most popular, it is also the most watched sport in America. The other famous sports are baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer.

Q. What are the top five popular sports in America in 2022?

A lot of sports are played in the United States. But the top five most popular sports in America are football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer. According to the latest survey, the greatest percent of people stated that American football was their favorite sport.

Q. What is the most played and watched sport in the USA?

The most played sport in America is football; it took more than a century to become the most popular sport in America. The NFL is the biggest sports league and the most-watched league too. Specifically, Super Bowl is the most-watched sports event in America.

Q. Who is the highest-paid sportsman in America?

The NBA is the professional sports league with the highest player wages worldwide, with every player earning a decent amount of 8.32 million dollars every year. And Dak Prescott is the highest-paid sportsman with a net worth of $107.5 million.

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FAQs

What sport has the highest TV ratings in America? ›

Nationwide, the NFL obtains the highest television ratings among major sports. Watching NFL games on television on Sunday afternoons has become a common routine for many Americans during the football season. Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest annual sporting event held in the United States.

Which sport has the highest TV ratings? ›

The Super Bowl is the mecca of U.S. sports, followed by the World Series and NBA Finals. For international sports, the Olympics and FIFA World Cup are the most-watched events across the globe.

What is the number 1 watched sport in America? ›

Basketball

Basketball is the most famous sport in the USA after Football and Baseball. Basketball is also the tenth most favorite sport in the world. National Basketball association organizes the competition of Basketball. In the United States, Basketball is the third most popular sport.

What sport has the most fans in America? ›

1. American Football. American football, or simply football as it is referred to in America, is by far the most popular sport in America, and its Major League, the NFL, is the league that runs TV.

What are the top 5 most popular sports in America? ›

For now, let's take a look at the five most popular sports in America.
  1. American Football.
  2. Basketball. ...
  3. Baseball. ...
  4. Soccer. Soccer has five billion fans worldwide and is the fastest growing sport in America. ...
  5. Ice Hockey. Ice hockey is the fifth most popular sport in America with 4% identifying it as their favorite sport. ...
22 Jul 2022

What is the most played sport in America 2022? ›

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America 2022
  • Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the United States. ...
  • Basketball is the second most popular sport in the United States after American football. ...
  • American football is the most popular sport in the United States.
26 Apr 2022

Who has better ratings NFL or NBA? ›

NFL more popular than the NBA in TV viewership in 2021.

What is the most popular sport in 2022? ›

Football/Soccer

The sport has roughly 3.5 billion fans worldwide and 250 million players across 200 countries around the world. The next most popular sports in the world are cricket (2.5 billion fans), basketball (2.2 billion fans), and field hockey (2 billion).

Is F1 bigger than NFL? ›

F1 is bigger than the NFL in terms of total fans. While you might expect F1 to be the far bigger sport due to its global audience, the NFL has high viewership numbers and generates more revenue compared to Formula 1. In terms of total global fans, F1 has 433 million, while the NFL has 410 million.

What is the most popular sport in the world 2021? ›

Football/Soccer

Commonly known as football and sometimes soccer, the game is played by approximately 250 million players spread over 200 countries, making it the world's most popular sport. And now in 2021, it also holds its place among the richest sports in the world. Around 3.5 billion follow football.

What are the fastest growing sports in America? ›

Top 15 Fastest Growing American Sports and Activities
  • Field Hockey.
  • Roller Hockey. ...
  • Boxing for Competition. ...
  • High Impact Aerobics. ...
  • BMX Cycling. Core participants: 1,145,000. ...
  • Swimming for Fitness. Core participants: 8,845,000. ...
  • Mountain Biking. Core participants: 4,336,000. ...
  • Boardsailing/Windsurfing. Core Participants: 285,000. ...

What sport makes the most money? ›

With only 30 teams in the league and an unrivaled system in place to make money through television, sponsorships, merchandising, and, of course, ticket sales, the NBA is the king of money-making in the sports world.

What is the number 1 sport in the world? ›

Football, better known as soccer in the US and Canada, is the most popular sport in the world, with an estimated following of 4 billion fans.

What is USA favorite sport? ›

Football continues to be the most popular sport in the United States. According to Gallup.com, 37% of U.S. adults picked football as their favorite sport to watch.

Which team has most fans in the world? ›

The answer is Real Madrid!

Like in 2021, also this year Real is the most followed football club in the world. Overall, the top 10 teams are the same as in 2021. There are only several changes in positions. Let's have a detailed look at the football clubs with the most fans in the world in 2022.

What is the least popular sport? ›

11 Least Popular Sports in the World
  1. 1 | Kabbadi. Kabbadi is the national sport of Bangladesh and, from what I can tell, it's a mix of rugby without a ball and red rover.
  2. 2 | Motocross/motorcycle racing. ...
  3. 3 | Fencing. ...
  4. 4 | Polo. ...
  5. 5 | Archery. ...
  6. 6 | Sailing. ...
  7. 7 | Canadian football. ...
  8. 8 | Weightlifting. ...
19 Mar 2018

Who has better ratings NFL or NBA? ›

NFL more popular than the NBA in TV viewership in 2021.

Does the NBA or MLB have more viewers? ›

Tale of the tape: NBA vs. MLB
EventNBAMLB
ViewersNet
Regular season3.7 milFOX
1.7 milTBS
1.7 milESPN
6 more rows

Is NBA more popular than NFL? ›

Yes, the NBA attracted 5 million more people than the NFL, but that's not as many as one would think given the big difference in the number of games each league plays per season. Here's the math: The NFL has 32 teams, each plays 16 games, so that's 256 games per season.

Is MLB or NBA more popular? ›

And yet the World Series outdrew the Finals in 2020 as well, 9.8 million to 7.5 million. As for revenue, to use Smith's other argument, MLB tops the NBA there too. According to Forbes, MLB generates $10 billion, ahead of the NBA's $8 billion.

Is the NBA losing popularity? ›

But the NBA is decidedly not more popular than ever by any means. To the contrary, regular-season ratings in 2020-21 were down 25% compared with the last uninterrupted season in 2018-19.

What sport makes the most money? ›

With only 30 teams in the league and an unrivaled system in place to make money through television, sponsorships, merchandising, and, of course, ticket sales, the NBA is the king of money-making in the sports world.

Is MLB bigger than NFL? ›

There are a whole lot more football players than baseball players, so each piece of the NFL revenue pie will always be smaller than the MLB slice. League revenues are split between 1,696 total players in the NFL while in the MLB it's only split between 750 players. $8 billion / 1,696 = $4.717 million per NFL player.

Is baseball losing popularity? ›

Another way of looking at this: MLB lost 11 million in-person paying fans from 2007 to 2019, and stands to lose another five million compared to 2019 if the average holds. MLB's on pace to draw 63.4 million fans this year, which would be the lowest mark since 1997 (63.1 million).

Is baseball losing viewership? ›

Major League Baseball needs more home runs to compete with more action-packed sports as TV viewership sees 12% decline in 2021, says GlobalData - GlobalData.

Who generates more money NBA or MLB? ›

In 2021, the highest-paid MLB player (Mike Trout at $37.1 million) made less than 11 NBA players and four NFL players (as measured by average annual value). Patrick Mahomes' $45 million salary (in average annual value) leads the NFL while Steph Curry's $45.8 million salary leads the NBA.

Is NFL becoming less popular? ›

According to statista.com, the number of people over the age of six playing tackle football in the United States has declined from 8.4 million in 2006 to 5.16 million in 2018.

What's bigger basketball or football? ›

When you look at overall viewership, football is clearly more popular. The Super Bowl, which is the biggest game in American football, typically has around 100 million viewers. In contrast, the NBA Finals, which is the biggest game in basketball, typically has around 20 million viewers.

What is America's favorite sport? ›

Football - America's Favorite Sport to Watch and Follow

Football continues to be the most popular sport in the United States. According to Gallup.com, 37% of U.S. adults picked football as their favorite sport to watch.

What are the fastest growing sports in America? ›

Top 15 Fastest Growing American Sports and Activities
  • Field Hockey.
  • Roller Hockey. ...
  • Boxing for Competition. ...
  • High Impact Aerobics. ...
  • BMX Cycling. Core participants: 1,145,000. ...
  • Swimming for Fitness. Core participants: 8,845,000. ...
  • Mountain Biking. Core participants: 4,336,000. ...
  • Boardsailing/Windsurfing. Core Participants: 285,000. ...

What is the least popular sport? ›

11 Least Popular Sports in the World
  1. 1 | Kabbadi. Kabbadi is the national sport of Bangladesh and, from what I can tell, it's a mix of rugby without a ball and red rover.
  2. 2 | Motocross/motorcycle racing. ...
  3. 3 | Fencing. ...
  4. 4 | Polo. ...
  5. 5 | Archery. ...
  6. 6 | Sailing. ...
  7. 7 | Canadian football. ...
  8. 8 | Weightlifting. ...
19 Mar 2018

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