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Top 5 Sporting Television Audiences

A lot of people would argue that sport is one of the biggest forms of entertainment, with the industry demanding billions of pounds from broadcasters every year who wish to showcase the coverage. Such large amounts of money are invested due to the huge demand, with certain events bringing in hundreds of millions of viewers.

Following on from the above, it can be interesting to see just what events bring in the viewers and why they are proving so popular. Therefore, we’ll take a look at some of the most entertaining events on the sporting calendar, based on viewing figures. It should be stated that while all figures are based on 2010, it’s understood that they all still have a similar impact.

1 Super Bowl

This is the undisputed leader not just in sport, but in the entertainment industry as a whole. The popularity of the Super Bowl is unprecedented and even though the United States is the main target audience, the event is streamed throughout the world.

Super Bowl

Recent figures indicate that around 121m viewers watched the 2010 match – a staggering amount when you compare it to other entertainment events. As you would expect, such large audiences mean that the main broadcasters are able to reap in fantastic financial rewards, with some figures suggesting that advertisers are willing to pay over $3.5m for a basic commercial slot.

2 UEFA Champions League Final

While the top entry may focus on American Football, it’s good old fashioned ‘soccer’ that takes second place when it comes to viewing figures. Many people regard the Champions League as the greatest tournament in football, with the competition not only being incredibly prestigious to clubs in Europe but also extremely lucrative. Bearing this in mind, nobody should bat an eyelid when it comes to the total audience, with around 109m watching the final back in 2010.

UEFA Champions League Final

While this figure is impressive, there is a chance that the most recent Champions League final has surpassed the Super Bowl. UEFA have suggested that the 2012 event was watched by over 150 million people, with such an increase occurring due to the multi-platform approach that the authorities are promoting. Anyone who has watched a recent CL final will know the amount of advertising that takes place, with betting companies understood to pay millions to earn a slot. This is probably the reason we see so many ads based on football betting offers.

3 Bahrain Grand Prix

Formula 1 is another very lucrative business and the nature of the sport means that millions of people all over the world finding it utterly enthralling and entertaining. Despite the above, the sport generally performs fairly averaging amongst the ratings, even though it attracts a multi-national audience due to all of the different teams.

Formula One World Championship

However, the Bahrain Grand Prix changes the outlook completely. In 2010, it was estimated that 54m watched the event, although the reasons why this figure was so high can only be speculated. With the race occurring quite early on in the calendar it is unlikely to be for this reason and instead, the finger could be pointed at its location. Anyone with a keen interest in the sports entertainment field will know that there is a big push from Arabic countries to market sport and this could be why the Bahrain Grand Prix saw so many viewers tune in.

4 World Athletics Championships


More specifically, it was the Men’s 100m final that attracted the most viewers. Figures back in 2010 suggested that around 33m watched the event, which appears quite a paltry figure when it is compared with other spectacles on this list. However, it still managed to dwarf the majority of other sporting events and just like the Bahrain Grand Prix, this could be due to its multi-national nature. With so many runners of so many different nationalities competing, such a huge athletics event is sure to grab a worldwide audience and this is probably the reason why it sits so highly in the rankings.

5 Wimbledon Men’s Final

Wimbledon Men's Final

This is an addition which is again hardly surprising, with Wimbledon being one of the greatest forms of sports entertainment in the world. With tennis being such a popular sport and the event capturing the whole of the UK, most of the 29m viewers are probably going to be home-based. Moreover, with Spaniards and Americans regularly appearing in the latter stages of the tournament, it will capture viewers from around the globe.

Written by Ayesha Khan

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