Cricket’s popularity is in large part because of the British Empire and the East India Company, and their fervent determination to spread their culture across the world in their hopes of bringing ‘civilization’ to the different nations. As terrible as the intent may have been, this has grown to be a vastly popular sport in the UK, Asia, Australia and Africa – basically the British Colonies of old. It has a fan following of 2.5 billion people and is the second most watched sport in the world.
Field hockey has an estimated global following of 2 Billion fans and sees its primary sphere of influence in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The contemporary field hockey sport was first played in England in the 1800s. While India and Pakistan dominated this sport during the first half of the 20th century, the Netherlands and Australia quickly took over that sport.
With 1 billion fans from all around the globe, tennis is the 4th most followed sport. The previous 3 were all team games, whereas tennis is the first individual game in the list. It has been around since the early 14th century, it is said that King Louis X of France had made for himself an indoor tennis court.
Volleyball is an extremely simple game with little equipment and few rules. All you need is a ball and a net. There aren’t even any restrictions on the kind of terrain, it can be sand, grass or even cement. It is most popular in the developing regions of the world such as Turkey, Korea, Poland, Brazil, Italy, France, and many other European and African countries. In Asia, the game restricts to the countries like China and Japan. With 900 million global following and over 200 national federations registered, Volleyball is the 5th most popular sports and has the most registered federations than any other sport.
Table Tennis is a game with not much professional platforms for the display of talent, but as a hobby, no sport comes near this indoor excitement that is widely played around the world. But when it comes to playing the game on a professional level, it is restricted to the countries like Indonesia, China, and Malaysia and, to some extent, India. It has an estimated fan following of 850 million.
With 500 million fans, baseball is another American-led sport. The first league for the sport was created all the way back in 1876 and the sport has been growing since then.
In fact, the reason it has outdone its fellow American sports in media ratings is due to the sport’s ever-growing popularity in Japan.
This is one of the oldest sports in this list having been established in the 13th Century in Scotland, and it has successfully spread around the world so that it now has a total of 450 million fans across Europe, Asia, and America. This would account for its vast reach. However, in comparison to the other sports in this list, it doesn’t involve any direct competition as there is no face to face challenge or any adrenalin-pumping action, it instead focuses on patience and personal skill. The score in this game also works in an inverse fashion, the one with the least number of shots used wins. This game too has its list of a good number of well-established male and female players.
With over 400 million fans around the world, this sport too is popular amongst American Population. However, this has been far more successful in spreading around the world than American Football.
This can also be due to the fact that this doesn’t require a large field to be played at, minimal space is enough for it. Top international talents are attracted to join the NBA, American National Basketball Association, but those who don’t make it in generally play for other international leagues, which aren’t as well-known as NBA.
With a fan following of around 390-400 million, American football ties with basketball in terms of popularity. Both basketball and American football have their origin from the USA and are very much common in the region than in any other continent. The most popular league of American football is NFL that is played in the USA. The game overall generates a revenue of $10 billion annually.