The sporting calendar’s biggest events attract billions of viewers worldwide. The most popular sports occasions are staged at traditional slots in the year, meaning there’s always something huge for spectators. Betting on sports has also become mainstream entertainment and swells the interest for fans of their favourite competitors, teams and countries.
The Biggest Events In The Football Calendar
There are a number of high profile football competitions regularly taking place around the world for fans to enjoy, however it is the FIFA World Cup which is the most-watched football sports event on the planet. Over three billion people followed the coverage of the last tournament in 2018. The World Cup takes place every four years and runs through the summer months with many UK sports betting operators offering the latest football odds online.
Domestically, the English Premier League is arguably the world’s biggest club football competition. The annual race to be crowned champions culminates in May every year and attracts bets on all manner of markets. The most popular centers around the season outcome and matchday results. The oldest cup competition in football reaches a climax with the FA Cup final, traditionally held at the end of the domestic season. Interest in the knockout tournament builds from early January when the biggest clubs in England enter it from the third round onwards.
The Most Popular Horse Racing Events
The Grand National is perhaps the most famous horse race in the world. The annual steeplechase is the highlight of the three day Aintree Festival and traditionally takes place on a Saturday in April. For many people, the Grand National is the only sports bet they’ll even place each year, such as the popularity of the event. Preceding the Grand National by a few weeks, the Cheltenham Festival is held over four days in March every year. The National Hunt meet attracts some £500 million in bets every year such is its appeal.
The festival this year saw two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll claim a fifth Cheltenham win, while Rachael Blackmore also made history by becoming the first woman to win the Unibet Champion Hurdle. On the flat, the Epsom Derby is the biggest event to be staged each year. The Derby is usually held on the first Saturday in June and is Britain’s richest horse race, with a total prize purse of over £1.5 million.
The Most Popular Tennis Events
The tennis calendar is dominated by the four Grand Slam events which take place every year. The premier tennis competitions begin with the Australian Open in February, followed by Wimbledon in late June, with the French Open in the autumn followed by the season climax that is the US Open. Each of the ‘majors’ is played on a different surface bar the Australian and the US Open which are both contested on a hard court. Wimbledon is the oldest of the Grand Slam events while the French Open at Roland Garros is played on clay.
Many sports fans tune into tennis live or on their television to watch their favourite players compete against each other. At the start of the tournaments it’s anyone’s bet as to who will make it to the final. A lot of audiences tune in to watch some Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) players play matches such as Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer, as well as to watch new impressive talent.
The Biggest Rugby Dates In The Calendar
Like its footballing equivalent, the Rugby World Cup is held every four years between the premier nations in the sport. International interest in rugby is piqued each spring with the Six Nations Championship. The annual event brings together England, Wales, Ireland, France, Scotland and Italy to compete for the prestigious trophy. In March this year, Wales celebrated becoming the 2021 Guinness Six Nations champions which makes it their second Championship success in three years.
Huge audiences also tune in for the British and Irish Lions test rugby team which traditionally takes on Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in rotation every four years. The north versus southern hemisphere tussle attracts TV audiences of 20 million-plus for each match.
No rundown of the biggest sporting events would be complete without a mention of the Olympics. The four-yearly event brings together a host of sports with athletes, competitors and teams all competing to take home a gold medal. There are so many different sports at the Olympics that it is perhaps the ultimate event in the world for anyone wanting to bet on sports, with fans able to back individuals and teams across a range of competitions, games and races.Pushed back from 2020, the recent Tokyo games saw a range of sports making their Olympic debuts. Climbing, surfing, and skateboarding are just some of the adventurous sports that athletes took part in this year. Throughout history there have been athletes such as Michael Phelps who go on to become the most decorated Olympians of all time. This year, athletes from all over the world took on the Tokyo games to earn their first medals, collect more, achieve personal bests, and break world records.