Basketball is the second most-watched sport in the United States, after only American football. Basketball was initially played in 1891, with fundamental rules that have remained unchanged with few alterations. Basketball is one of the world's highest-paying sports. In 2017, NBA players earned an average of $5.9 million per season.
The most popular team sport in America is baseball. The National League dominates with 15 of the 20 most-watched programs. The NBA has more total fans (99 million) than the NFL (97 million). However, since the start of the 2014 season, all 32 NFL teams have been available on television to watch every game. This is because CBS owns the rights to broadcast NFL games beginning with the 2015 season. Before then, NBC had the rights but chose not to exercise them for financial reasons.
In addition to the two main sports, other team sports include ice hockey, soccer, and tennis. These are some of the most popular sports in the world. However, they are less popular in the United States than basketball, baseball, and football.
Individual sports include auto racing, boxing, gymnastics, golf, horse racing, surfing, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, tennis, triathlon, and volleyball. These are some of the least popular sports in the United States.
Inside the United States American football is the most popular sport in the United States. Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States, with around 390 million to 410 million supporters globally, the vast majority of whom reside in the United States. It is the most popular sport in the world after soccer.
In Europe football is the most popular sport for males between 15 and 29. In Asia football is the most popular sport for males between 15 and 34. In Africa football is the most popular sport for males between 15 and 19.
The International Olympic Committee lists athletics as the most popular sport at the Olympics, with over 9 million people participating annually. However, this does not include participation in race walking or wheelchair racing which are also included in the IOC's statistics. Sports analysts have argued that if cycling was included in the statistics then it would be first.
Studies have shown that sports fans are often more interested in following a particular athlete than in watching their team compete. For example, research conducted at the University of Western Ontario found that many Canadians watch sports such as basketball, hockey, and baseball outside of the context of what happens on the court, ice, or field because they're primarily interested in seeing who wins and loses. In fact, studies have shown that some athletes become so popular that they can make or break a league when they enter or leave their sport.
Baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer are the most popular spectator sports in the United States, followed by the "5 big sports" of baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer. Football (American football) is more popular in Canada and Australia.
In terms of revenue, American baseball claims first place with $9 billion, followed by basketball ($3 billion), NFL football ($2 billion), NHL hockey ($1 billion), and soccer ($600 million). The fifth sport, Australian rules football, is not included in this list.
Of the top 20 countries by population, only China and India do not have a single one of these sports listed as a mass participation event.
Basketball is the most popular sport in the world, followed by baseball. In fact, every region of the world has its own version of baseball or basketball - even remote islands like Madagascar, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago have played and won international tournaments.
However, football is much more popular in Europe and North America. In addition, cricket is widely played in Asia and Africa but is rarely seen in Europe.
Women's basketball is more popular than women's tennis, which is more popular than women's soccer.