As my bots continue to bring me data from all across the interwebs I am constantly thinking about interesting questions to ask it.
As I have been focused on numbers generated by various sports leagues I began to wonder about the popularity of these various leagues themselves…
The Popularity of Sports Leagues
For this list I simply counted the number of mentions each league had in my collected data. While not the most scientific method it should give us a fairly good idea of the popularity of each league online.
My data is scraped from a wide variety of sites from across the web. The list of sites I collect data from is largely U.S. based now since I have no idea what the EU is trying to do with their new crazy rules…
The NFL Still Rules
That being the case, it is of little surprise to me that the NFL is the most popular sports league today. You might think that is would be less popular since it is the off season but the combine, draft, etc. is on the horizon which stokes interest.
The NBA is closing in tho… I do not have the data but I imagine that the NBA would show steady growth, not to mention a steady closing of the margin vs. The NFL over the past few years.
The NFL and the NBA dwarf every other league:
|1||NFL||37470||National Football League|
|2||NBA||31731||National Basketball Association|
|3||NHL||13326||National Hockey League|
|4||MLB||12560||Major League Baseball|
|5||UFC||11711||Ultimate Fighting Championship|
|6||WWE||10557||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|7||Olympics||9916||International Olympic Committee|
|8||NASCAR||7527||National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing|
|9||Premier||5329||The Premier League|
|10||AAF||5222||The Alliance of American Football|
|11||PGA||5082||Professional Golfers’ Association|
|12||WNBA||2445||The Women’s National Basketball Association|
|14||NHRA||1371||The National Hot Rod Association|
|15||SEC||1260||NCAA Southeastern Conference|
|16||WBA||1241||World Boxing Association|
|17||ACC||1079||NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference|
|18||WTA||918||Women’s Tennis Association|
|19||XFL||858||X Football League|
|20||PBA||843||Professional Bowlers Association|
|21||FIFA||689||The Federation Internationale de Football Association|
|22||WBO||658||World Boxing Orginization|
|23||UEFA||551||Union of European Football Associations|
|24||lpga||345||Ladies Professional Golfers’ Association|
|25||ISL||312||Indian Super League|
People in the U.S. love football so much that there are three pro football leagues on this list and one of them is not even functional at this point.
It’s interesting that Tennis is the only sport where the women are more popular than the men. Men’s tennis cannot even rank ahead of the Indian Super ( soccer ) League…
And while we are on the topic – Major League Baseball wtf?
I know opening day is still down the road and hockey is in season, but that is ridiculous. MLB makes money but nobody with a straight face can claim that it is on par with the NFL or NBA these days in terms of popularity.
My final comment is about boxing. Once upon a time the heavy-weight champion was the most famous athlete in the world. Can you even name the current champ? Maybe if Anthony Joshua defeats Deontay Wilder and unifies the titles it’ll make a dent in the public zeitgeist.
Alternatively the UFC just continues to gain popularity. I would not be surprised at all if it passes Major League Baseball at some point…