Most of us follow our favourite sporting events on TV or stream them online. Watching sports with family or friends is a favourite pastime for people worldwide, and audiences are breaking new records every year. Here we look at the UK’s most popular and streamed sporting events.
World Cups, including those held in Brazil, South Africa, Germany, Japan etc., have exceeded 3 billion viewers, and it is estimated that more than 500 million viewers are watching the entire competition. It comes as no surprise that men’s soccer is the most popular and streamed sporting event in the UK.
According to ExpressVPNs infographic on the various factors that drive sports streaming in the UK, Liverpool FC is the most sought-after event by fans. And football enthusiasts will be sure to live stream the much anticipated upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, which is being held in Qatar from November 20th to December 18th.
Women’s soccer is becoming increasingly popular, and the last World Cup held in 2019 generated a lot of interest. A total of 1.12 billion viewers watched the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup across all platforms. The Women’s Euro finals and England’s team have also seen an increase in interest, particularly Chloe Kelly, who scored the winning goal for England. The UEFA final was undoubtedly a game changer for women’s football. This BBC article discusses why women’s football will never be the same.
The Cricket World Cup
Aside from football, the other sports are getting more and more viewers on streaming services, including golf, rugby, tennis and cricket. You may not know it, but cricket is popular in many countries, India of course, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in particular. The 2019 World Cup has played a massive role in the popularity of cricket. The matches played during the group stages were viewed by over 2.6 billion fans, making it the most watched cricket championship in history.
Formula 1 Grand Prix
Formula 1 has long been a favourite with UK viewers. The average audience worldwide for a Formula 1 race is 87.4 million viewers, and the most watched race of 2021 was the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix, which attracted over 100 million viewers. Interestingly, Formula 1 is increasingly popular online and on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat. According to the ExpressVPN article mentioned above, one thing popularising Formula one in recent years is Netflix shows such as Drive to Survive.
Rugby World Cup
The international organisation, World Rugby, estimates that more than 857 million people watched the last World Cup in 2019, held in Japan. This is a significant increase compared to the previous tournament held in England in 2015. Other sports that have grown in popularity include the American Super Bowl, now being watched at home in the US and with more than 400 million viewers worldwide.
Some upcoming sporting events sure to attract massive audiences are Qatar’s World Cup kicking off in November 2022, and the Six Nations in February 2023.