In the United States, many sports are competitive. However, when it comes to the most popular sports in America, a few of them stand out.
Top 5 most popular sports in America in 2022 – viewership and TV ratings
Corresponding ExpressVPN report When it comes to sports streaming, soccer is the nation’s favorite, closely followed by basketball, soccer, and baseball. Hockey takes fifth place. Let’s dive into the stats and streaming data on these sports.
1. Football (NFL)
With more than 9 million active participants and 112 million television viewers, American football, also known as gridiron, is undoubtedly the most popular and most watched sport in America.
This is a popular sport in the United States. Besides Australia, the USA is the only country that practices the sport at such a high level.
Founded in Ohio in 1920, the National Football League (NFL) is America’s most popular sports league. The NFL reported Revenue of $17.19 billion in 2021 and has continued to grow in popularity since its inception.
This sport has been around for over 100 years and is also very popular in America. In fact, it’s one of the oldest professional sports in America. Basketball has more than 25 million active participants in the United States
The National Basketball Association (NBA), founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA), is the second most popular league in the United States. The NBA reported Revenue of $6.41 billion in 2021 and has enjoyed steady growth since its inception.
Basketball has been around since 1981 when James Naismith invented it at Springfield College in Massachusetts. Today it is played professionally all over the world, including in China. There are professional teams that have won championships at both national and international levels, such as the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
3. Soccer (MLS)
Soccer used to have a lower stream count than baseball in the US. However, recent research shows it has surpassed baseball in 2021.
It has been played around the world since at least the 19th century, but its popularity has increased, particularly since the World Cup was first held on July 13, 1930.
4. Baseball (MLB)
Baseball is fourth on our list. This was announced by the MLB revenues of $6.41 billion in 2021 and has grown steadily since its inception. Baseball with more than 23 million active participants in the US
The sport is played by teams composed of nine players per side, and have nine innings to complete a game. It has evolved into five distinct positions: pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, and third baseman.
The object of the game is to get more runs than your opponent by scoring as many hits as possible and avoiding getting hit by the opposing batter or runner.
Each team must always have at least one player who always bats unless there are fewer than two outs.
See also: Your guide to live streaming Euro 2021 at home
5. Hockey (NHL)
It was first played in Canada in 1875 at the Victoria Skating Rink. It was eventually brought to North America in the early 20th century.
Ice hockey players are divided into the following categories: forwards (who score goals), midfielders, defenders (who prevent goals), and goalies (who stop shots). A typical hockey game lasts between two and four periods of four minutes each.
Data Analysis by ESPN
Additional data shows that:
- In the past year alone, over 16.9 million people watched Major League Baseball games on television
- Over 8 million people watched NBA games on TV last year
- Hockey is another popular sport that has seen a growing interest over time. Over 4.6 million people watched NHL games on television this year.
What’s Driving Sports Streaming in the US?
In the US, interest in football streaming is outpacing all other sports. However, basketball has caught up almost significantly in recent years, with soccer’s popularity growing enough to surpass baseball in 2021.
Soccer has always lagged behind in popularity in the US compared to countries in Europe and South America. However, the more recent successes of US-based teams such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United have helped change the perception of what football can achieve in the US
Notwithstanding, other factors also play a role. The cord-cutting and cord-shaving trends have resulted in fans seeking content on their terms, rather than through traditional television channels.
Corresponding Nilsen Data from 2021, many Americans are choosing not to limit themselves to traditional programming, but to use streaming services.
There is a desire to watch sports regardless of location, which is likely to drive the streaming market for years to come. Even if people don’t subscribe to any of the biggest streaming providers, there are plenty of options available.
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