Sports Viewership Statistics: Monthly Digital US Viewers Projected to Reach 90 Million by 2025!
Nothing quite compares to the exhilaration and excitement of watching a sporting event featuring your favorite team. Many people feel the same too, and several statistics support this. In fact, more than 150 million people on average viewed every UEFA Championship match, while the 2023 NFL accumulated 974.7 billion minutes in watch time!
These figures are impressive, and some could be credited to the move from relying only on TV and Cable to adding digital streaming media. Now you’ll find many platforms for watching your preferred games, including YouTube, Peacock, Paramount, and Hulu.
This changing trend is causing a shift in sport viewership statistics, and it has become more important than ever for everyone to monitor these trends and their effects.
Keep reading this guide as we share some important sports viewership trends and their impact on the sports industry. Regardless of whether you are an organization looking to leverage these trends, a sports enthusiast, reader, or data lover, there is certainly something to learn here.
Sports Viewership Stats – Quick Facts
- More than 450 million viewers watched the 2023 UEFA Champions League Final
- The Super Bowl LVII Between Eagles and Chiefs was the most viewed sporting event in 2023
- More than 57 million viewers in the US watched digital live sports content at least once per month
- An Average of 11.64 million viewers in the United States watched the 2023 NBA Finals
- The NFL was the most-watched sports league in the US in 2023
Global Sports Viewership Statistics
1. Over 1.9 million Fans showed up to watch the 2023 Women’s World Cup
There are numerous claims that Women’s soccer does not typically get as much as Men’s football. However, stats from the 2023 Women’s World Cup show more than 1.9 million fans in the Australia and New Zealand stadiums to watch the tournament, proving otherwise.
The staggering figure beat the previous record of 1.35 million set during the 2015 World Cup in Canada. According to stats from Reuters, the average crowd per match was 30,911, beating the 2015 average of 26,000 fans per game in Canada.
2. Approximately 450 million people viewed the 2023 UEFA Champions League Final
The UEFA Champions League is one of the biggest leagues in soccer, and many fans look forward to it. Approximately 48.67 million global viewers watched the 2020/21 final in which Chelsea defeated Manchester City 1-0. This was less than the 2019/20 finals, with an estimated viewership of 79.37 million viewers.
However, in 2023, this saw some improvement, with around 150 million viewers on average for the Istanbul game. This consists of estimated and verified in-home viewers, fans who streamed the game, and those watching from restaurants and fan parks.
The 2023 UEFA Champions League final saw the most numbers with 450 million viewers watching some or all parts of the game. Manchester came out above Inter Milan with a 1 – 0 score line to become the reigning champions.
3. The 2023 Cricket World Cup Breaks Viewership Records with 422 billion minutes in TV Time
(Statista, ESPN Cricinfo)
While it may surprise many, cricket is one of the most watched sporting events in the world. In the 2019 cricket tournament, about 1.6 billion fans tuned in to watch the event live – making it one of the most-watched sports events ever.
India, a country known for its love of cricket, drew in crowds of 750,000 fans per event, which bumped up to an average of 1.25 million fans/spectators per event in 2023. The TV audience also experienced a significant rise in 2023, with up to 518 million viewers tuning in to watch the event from India and consuming a total of 422 billion minutes in TV time – making it one of the largest World Cups ever.
India and Australia’s final match was the most anticipated and viewed by 300 million people, and a peak of 130 million. According to Disney Star, this was the most viewed cricket match on TV. In addition, the final surpassed the digital viewership record with an impressive 59 million concurrent viewers on Disney+ Hotstar – the highest seen on any live sport!
4. More than 54 million viewers Streamed Wimbledon 2023
Wimbledon is the most renowned tennis tournament globally. So, it’s not a surprise to see it clinch massive views online and offline. This tournament lasts two weeks in the All England Club every year.
In 2023, the tournament drew in a massive crowd of 532,631 individuals, vastly surpassing the 170,000 spectators in 2022. What’s more, approximately 54.3 million viewers streamed the event through BBC Sport online and BBC players.
The peak audience on BBC One was 11.3 million during the matchup between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic with Carlos coming out on top.
5. The 2023 Tour De France Drew more than 42.5 million viewers
The Tour de France is a famous cycling race that started in 1903. Cyclers ply across France and occasionally go into neighboring regions.
In 2023, it drew in over 42.5 million viewers from France alone which is impressive. Peak viewership was in the stage 16s-time trial, which saw 8.7 million viewers from France alone.
Sports Viewership Statistics in the United States
The United States is a major hub involving sports-related activities. According to Statista, there were about 58 million sports fans in the US between 18 and 34 in 2022. There were also 122 million sports lovers aged 35 or older in the US.
Coupled with sports betting statistics, these are impressive numbers and go a long way to show you how much Americans love sports. Here are some other important sports viewership statistics to note in the US.
6. The NFL was the most-watched sports league in the US in 2023
The NFL, or National Football League, features 32 teams spread evenly across the National Football Conference and American Football Conference.
It is one of the most popular sports in the US, so it’s unsurprising that according to NFL facts, 9.2 million US viewers, on average, tuned in between November 2022 and November 2023 to watch the games – making it one of the most viewed sporting events in 2023.
Viewers watched 974.7 billion minutes spread across the 284 matches during this period. Check out the infographic below from Statista for more information.
7. Live Sports Viewers in the United States expected to reach 90 million in 2025
Many sports fans in the United States enjoy watching live digital sports online, resulting in millions of views each month. In 2021, about 57.5 million US fans viewed digital sports content once every month, with projections showing it’ll rise to more than 90 million in 2025.
8. The Super Bowl LVII Between Eagles and Chiefs was the most viewed sporting event in 2023
(CNN, Fox News, Statista)
The Super Bowl LVII attained a TV rating of 40.0, with a total number of viewers exceeding 115 million in 2023. This was a massive improvement from its all-time low rating of 36.9 in 2022.
The approximate figure of 115.1 million viewers consists of those who watched the event across digital streaming services, FOX, and Fox Deportes. Fox Sports also mentioned that the Apple Halftime Show, which featured Rihanna, pulled in up to 118.7 million views on average, making it the second most watched Super Bowl performance in history.
9. An Average of 11.64 million viewers in the United States watched the 2023 NBA Finals
The NBA finals drew 11.64 million viewers in the US. This was a 6% decline from the 2022 finals, which averaged 12.4 million in viewership. The fifth game averaged 13.08 million viewers, and the final minutes of the game had the most views, with an average of 17.8 million viewers.
Despite this decline in views, the NBA postseason games offered the best audience performance experienced in 11 years.
10. About 9.17 million viewers watched the college football match between FSU and LSU in 2023
College sports is a dominant sector in the sporting world, with football taking the lead. In 2023, about 9.17 million viewers tuned in to show their support for their favorite teams. The football match was between LSU Tigers and Florida State Seminoles on the 3rd of September, 2023. With this huge number of views, it became the most-viewed college football week one game in 2023.
FSU and LSU have been at loggerheads for a while, with FSU always ahead. This revered game ended by 45 – 24 points, with FSU taking the lead and claiming a six-time winning streak against LSU.
eSports Programming Viewership Statistics
The eSports market is a thriving one that many people and organizations have begun to tap into. Now, many gamers are opting to build a career in eSports, while top companies are investing in anticipation of future growth. To this end, we’ve compiled some of the most important eSports viewership statistics to keep you up to speed.
11. The eSports Global Audience will rise to 640 million in 2025
More players and viewers are delving into the world of eSports as innovation makes streaming live events easier. The growth of eSports is also evident in its ever-growing viewership.
In 2020, there were 437.5 million viewers, which quickly grew to 532 million in 2022, a significant increase. By 2025, global esports viewership is projected to rise to 640.8 million, which is impressive.
12. eSports Lovers Expected to Rise to 318 Million in 2025
The eSports market is growing, with plenty of gamers venturing into it and accumulating many fans.
In 2020, there were 215.2 million enthusiasts of eSports events, and it is expected that this will rise to 318 million in 2025. Moreover, forecasts state that by 2025, an additional 322.7 million people will become occasional eSport viewers.
12. More than 57% of eSports Viewers come from Asia Pacific
Asia is one of the major gaming hubs, with more than a billion gamers. So, it does not come as a surprise to see most eSports fans stemming from the region. Core gaming countries in Asia, like China and Indonesia, accounted for 57% of the viewership in eSports. This amounts to over 710 million viewers from Asia alone.
The United States came next with 45 million viewers in 2023, while Europe had around 16% of the global viewership percentage.
13. League of Legends Championship is the Most-watched eSports Tournament
League of Legends is a game that has existed for more than a decade. However, it only clinched its glory recently in the eSports market. Now, fans around the world tune in to watch their favorite players go head-to-head against each other for a chance to win the prize pool.
In 2023, approximately 6.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the League of Legends World Championship. This figure floored the record holding 5.41 million viewers amassed by the Free Fire World series in 2021. With this feat, the League of Legends championship became the most-viewed tournament globally.
While Sports viewership suffered a bit of decline during the pandemic, things seem to be picking back up again. Many streaming channels have come to the rescue, and more fans prefer watching their favorite teams from the comfort of their homes.
There have already been projections indicating further surges in sports viewership numbers and sports industry revenue in 2025. Make sure to check in regularly as we continue to update this page with recent sports viewership statistics.
The NFL has the most viewers in the US. Between November 2022 and November 2023, it pulled in an average of 9.2 million viewers with a total watch time of 974.7 billion minutes across all events.
The most streamed sporting event in the United States is the Super Bowl. According to Statista, many younger viewers enjoy watching the Super Bowl through services like Peacock.
The five most watched sports in the US are American Football, Basketball, Baseball, Boxing, and Ice Hockey.