Forget the Olympics, forget the FIFA World Cup. At PledgeSports, we were keen to learn which sporting event, year on year, draws in the biggest crowds and makes the most money in the process.
Here’s a countdown of the biggest sporting events on the planet – enjoy!
5. NBA Finals
When it comes to sporting finals, few countries create a grand stage quite like the American sports, and the NBA Finals is no exception.
The finals series, which generally consists of 4 to 7 games between the top two basketball teams from the regular season, is one of the most lucrative TV advertising slots, year after year. Marketplace report that in 2016, business and brands paid upwards of $600,000 per 30-seconds of advertising during the airing of the finals series.
Time report that Game 7 of the 2016 series drew in a viewership of 29 million, while the series brought in a total of 155 million viewers. They go on to report that each game of the final series is worth $80m in ad revenue, taking the total for the 2016 series to $560m.
4. Tour De France
The television ratings are huge – 3.5bn viewers in 190 countries and territories – according to The National. While the tournament’s average TV revenue of €24m is lower than the biggest events, the 15 million spectators which watch the race in person trounces any other sporting event in the world.
And, of course, the revenue generated by such an incredible number of spectators certainly fills the gap left by modest television revenue. Take the Grand Depart on day one of the tour, for example. In 2014, at the Grand Depart in Yorkshire, England, five million teabags and 60,000 bags of sweets were bought by spectators. Multiply that figure over the race’s three week period and you’ve got a hefty sum of revenue at the end.
The pinnacle of tennis, where legends are made and historical sporting moments are created. Wimbledon is one of the most iconic and recognisable events in the sporting world.
From the perfect green surfaces and celebrity crowd to the mandatory white sporting attire and Henman Hill, Wimbledon is an incredible event.
Soaked in history and tradition since its inception in 1877, Wimbledon is one of the biggest sporting events in the world for sure. The 2016 event was the biggest on record, reaching an audience of 1bn people in 200 countries and territories, according to Wimbledon.
The Championship makes just under £40 million on the grounds of the All England Club itself, while overall, Wimbledon generates just over £150 million when TV revenue is included, according to Mic.
2. Super Bowl
Coming in at second place is the biggest event on the NFL calendar, the Super Bowl. Many may be surprised by this ranking given the mass amount of coverage the event receives every year, but rest assured it has been pipped to top spot by a colossal competition.
The Super Bowl itself is the final championship game of the NFL season, and in the 2017 showcase, it drew in 111.3m viewers on average during the game and $2bn in broadcasting rights revenue, according to Reuters.
Incredibly, Lady Gaga’s halftime show caught the eye of 117.5m viewers which was the second highest viewership spike, bettered only by 117.7 million who watched the overtime.
1. UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is the ultimate club football tournament on earth. It brings together the top leagues in Europe, pitting champions against champions to see who is the greatest footballing side on the continent.
The tournament stretches over a 9-month period in coordination with Europe’s domestic leagues. According to Vocativ, the Champions League final draws a TV audience of almost 400 million people each year, with viewers tuning in from 200 countries and territories (that’s basically every single place on earth).
Broadcasting rights are charged at a premium for the event, with $1.85bn the total fee collected at last year’s final. Of that, the winners of last year’s Champions League, Real Madrid, walked away with over $110m in prize money. Not too shabby, eh?
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