Top 10 List of the Internet World's Most Popular Sports
Here is a list of the top 10 most popular sports, as listed on the mostpopularsports.net website. The website author notes that this list takes into account the population of countries and are based on general surveys/discussions on the internet. This is the same sport order as several other lists found online. The source of the fan numbers is unknown.
Soccer is clearly the most popular sport in terms of fans. The FIFA World Cup held every four years has a huge TV audience - over 30 billion people watched the 2006 World Cup in Germany (I know that's more than the world's population, this figure is an 'accumulated' audience, meaning if people watched more than one game, which most people did, they were counted each time).
On the same website, there are top sports lists for each country, based on the estimated number of fans using a very interesting method to measure popularity. The lists are based on the results of website visitor traffic analysis (using the Alexa traffic rank) of over 300 sports websites, which reflect which sports the internet users in the particular country are most interested in. Regional popularity gives an insight into where the fan base is located around the world. See also list based on a similar principle - website traffic to sports pages on Wikipedia and Google Search Sports Terms.
|rank||Sport||Estimated Fans||Regional Popularity|
|1.||Soccer / Association Football||3.5 Billion||Europe, Africa, Asia, America.|
|2.||Cricket||2.5 Billion||Asia, Australia, UK.|
|3.||Field Hockey||2 Billion||Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia.|
|4.||Tennis||1 Billion||Europe, Asia, America.|
|5.||Volleyball||900 Million||Europe, Australia, Asia, America.|
|6.||Table Tennis||850 Million||Europe, Africa, Asia, America.|
|7.||Baseball||500 Million||America, Japan.|
|8.||Golf||450 Million||Europe, Asia, America, Canada.|
|=9||American Football||400 Million||Europe, Africa, Asia, America, Australia.|