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7 Most Popular Sports Leagues in the World

Most Popular Sports Leagues in the World
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According to a national survey, 70% of Americans enjoy watching sports. With a more competitive environment, sports leagues are created to set regulations for specific sports. Beyond the borders of the United States, there are sports leagues in many countries, big and small.

The global popularity of sports leagues boosted the following sports: basketball, football, hockey, and baseball, among many others. To explore the seven most popular sports leagues in the world, here’s a list you can refer to.

1. The National Football League

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The National Football League is the richest sports league in the world based on revenue. Moreover, it has recorded the highest attendance by a national league with a 67,591 audience. It was initially named the American Professional Football Association (APFA) and was later rebranded as the National Football League in 1922.

The league typically commences with a preseason held in three weeks in August. From early September to January, an 18-week regular preseason takes place, with each team playing 17 games. It will be followed by a single-elimination tournament during the playoffs that ends in the Super Bowl, which is contested by two champions from the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).

In the 2022 season, the Kansas City Chiefs dominated NFL betting odds and won the championship game.

2. The Premier League

Founded on February 20, 1992, the Premier League was created to become the highest level of the English football system. Since the 1995-1996 season, 20 teams have participated in the league. The games are usually held from August to May every year. Each team will play 39 games against other participating teams in the league.

Around the world, the Premier League is the most-watched sports event. On average, 4.7 potential audiences are following the games in the league. These games are broadcast in various territories and enjoyed even by casual sports fans. Currently, the team with the most wins in the Premier League is Manchester United, with 13 titles. Meanwhile, the current champions of the 2022-2024 season are Manchester City.

3. The National Basketball Association

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Composed of 30 teams, the National Basketball Association is a highly-regarded professional basketball league in North America and the rest of the world. The league comprised 29 teams from the United States and one from Canada. It’s popular globally, with fans and bettors looking forward to FanDuel NBA Odds every season.

It was founded on June 6, 1946, in New York. It was originally named Basketball Association of America and later rebranded as National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949. The inaugural season of the NBA was in 1946-1947.

The NBA’s regular season runs from October to April. Each team will be playing in 82 matches. The current champions of the NBA are the Denver Nuggets, while the team with the most titles is the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, with 17 wins each.

4. La Liga

La Liga is the highest level of Spanish football for men. It’s also known as Primera División in Spain. For English-speaking countries, it’s more popular than La Liga. It is composed of 20 teams at present, with Real Madrid being the most winningest with 35 titles.

The current champions of the league are Barcelona, which just clinched their 27th title. La Liga is known to be one of the most attended sports leagues in the world, with an average audience of 26,933 in the 2018-2019 season.

The legendary rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, also known as “El Clasico,” makes the league even more popular. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s faceoff during the El Clasico is arguably the most exhilarating aspect of the match. These two footballers are undoubtedly the best players of their generation, and their participation in La Liga makes the league the most thrilling football arena that ever existed.

5. The Indian Premier League

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Administered by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the Indian Premier League is India’s top-level men’s cricket league. There are ten participating teams in the league. The most successful teams are Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, with five titles each. The most recent titleholder was the Chennai Super Kings.

The Indian Premier League is hailed as the most popular cricket league worldwide. Besides this fact, the league is also the sixth most attended league among all sports leagues. So far, the league has hosted 16 seasons and will continue to hold more tournaments in the coming years. If you want to bet on cricket, read more info here.

6. Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball was originally founded as the National League in 1876 and then renamed the American League in 1901. In 2000, it was merged into one organization, thus its current name, Major League Baseball. It was dubbed America’s “National Pastime” since baseball is the national sport of the United States.

It comprises 30 professional baseball teams: 29 from the United States and one from Canada. The 30 teams are divided between the American League and the National League. Each league is divided into three divisions: East, Central, and West.

In addition, the MLB is named the second wealthiest league in the world, following the National Football League. It is also the longest of any major American sports league, with 162 games. It kicks off in April and ends in early October.

7. National Hockey League

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The National Hockey League is at the top level of the global hockey league pyramid. A total of 32 teams participate in the annual run of the league. The inaugural game happened on November 26, 1917.

Every year, seven teams from Canada and 25 teams from the United States. In the latest season, players from 18 different counties participated in the games. The team with the most titles in the league is the Montreal Canadiens, with 25 trophies.


These seven major leagues have made sports more enjoyable, fostering intense competitions and sportsmanship between competing teams. Of course, with the imposed regulations that apply to all matches, these sports have gained a good reputation in the modern sports arena. Thus, they have become the most popular and most followed sports league in the world.