Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America In 2021 | Viewership And TV Ratings

May 30, 2021 By Sourav

Top 10 Most Popular Sports In America In 2021 | Viewership And TV Ratings

Here we going to make the list of most popular, most-watched, most revenue-generating, or most played sports in America. The list of Most Popular Sports in America will tell you about American's preference in sports.

Our source of information is the websites that are being searched or browsed most in America. Don't forget to comment below, if you feel we didn't include any popular sport. And, to know about the worldwide popular sports, don't forget to read our exclusive list of the top 10 Most Popular Sports in the world.


Most Popular Sports in America | 2021 Updates

10. Badminton
9. Motor Sports
8. Wrestling / WWE
7. Golf
6. Tennis
5. Soccer / Football
4. Ice Hockey
3. Basketball
2. Baseball
1. American Football

Don't Miss:

Honorable Mentions
Top 5 In 2021 | USA Ratings

We have not only calculated the viewership but also the total perticipation in perticular sports while making our power ranking this year. So, here are the detailed stats of the most popular sports in the USA.

10. Badminton

Badminton Is Also A Popular Game In USA
Badminton is also a popular game in USA

Badminton is one of the best and amazing sports on the American sports list. Lots of people playing this game for just entertainment but at national-based, this game has no name. Badminton is also an easy game that people can play anywhere and in any place. This game mostly played in Universities, Colleges, and Schools.

It's not a hugely popular sport in the United States such as in China, Malaysia, Denmark, and Indonesia. But still, the 10th most popular sport in the country.


9. Motor Sports

Motor Sports Popular In America
Motor Sports popular in America

Motor Sports Including auto-car and motorcycle racing, is the 9th sport in the list of Most Watched Sports in the USA. NASCAR is the biggest organization in the USA, which organizes races in America.

Motor Sports is the 2nd most-watched sport after Football in the American continent.


8. Wrestling | WWE

WWE Wrestling. Popular In USA
WWE Wrestling. Popular in USA

Pro-wrestling is the next most popular sport in the USA. The wrestling organized under WWE is highly followed by the American people.

John Cena, Undertaker, Stone Cold, and The Rock are some of the most popular WWE superstars in the USA in 2021.


7. Golf

Golf Is One Of Most Popular Sport In USA
Golf is One of Most Popular Sport in USA

Golf is the 7th most popular sport in the USA. Tiger Woods arguably the most popular contemporary Golf figure in the United States.

Besides, he is also among the greatest golfers of all time that made American very proud. Golf is also the 8th most popular sport in the world.


6. Tennis

Tennis One Of Popular Sport In America
Tennis one of Popular Sport in America

Tennis is the next sport on the list of most popular sports in America. This game is equally popular with men & women. The greatest tennis players of all time like Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, and others are the current inspirations for youngsters in America.

The United States has had a glorious record in tennis since they started participating in this sport.


5. Soccer/Football/Association Football (MLS)

Soccer-Popular Sports In America
Soccer-Popular Sports in America

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. Soccer is the fifth most popular sport in America, although, Soccer is not as popular as Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Ice-Hockey in America.

It still has huge viewership and participation in soccer. Recently after the introduction of great soccer players like David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, MLS has witnessed a sharp increase in viewership.


4. Ice Hockey (NHL)

Ice Hockey, 4th Most Popular Sports In USA
Ice Hockey, 4th Most Popular Sports in USA

It is known as "hockey"; the name "ice hockey" is used in countries where "hockey" generally refers to field hockey. It is the 4th Most Popular Sport in America. Hockey is most popular in areas of North America (particularly Canada and northern parts of the United States) and Europe.

In North America, the National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest level for men's hockey and the most popular. America Won its first Gold Medal in Winters Olympics. With the introduction of artificial ice rinks, Hockey has today become one of the most popular passtime indoor sport.


3. Basketball (NBA)

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the USA after Football & Baseball. Also, it is the 10th most followed sport in the world. Basketball competitions organized under the National Basketball Association (NBA).

NBA has produced some greatest basketball players like Michael Jordan and LeBron James. And, with an estimated 14,000 attendance per match, Basketball is the 3rd most popular sport in the United States.


2. Baseball (MLB)

Baseball 2nd Most Played Sport In America
Baseball 2nd Most Played Sport in America

Baseball is the 2nd most popular sport in America and the 7th most popular sport in the world. This sport is also known as the United State's national pastime. In America, there are mainly two levels of baseball competition, minor league baseball, and major league baseball (MLB).

The popularity of Baseball has not just touched a great height in America but all over the world. A huge number of the audience are now following baseball matches.


1. American Football (NFL)

American Football NFL-the Most Popular Sport In USA
American Football NFL-the most popular sport in USA

American Football is the most popular sport in America. Football is also the 9th Most Popular Sport All Around the World. The biggest Competition Organized under the National Football League (NFL). Football or Gridiron is More Popular in Southern areas of America, Like Texas, Florida, and California.

People of America are not just watching Football in their homes. Fans are coming by the thousands to watch games on stadiums. In 2012 the league had an average attendance of 67,604 fans at each game. That is more than any other sports league in the world. Besides, this league now also houses some of the most handsome NFL players in 2021.

With the attraction of money and fame, football is the most popular sport in America. The list of highest-paid athletes in the world is mostly dominated by American football players. Nowadays you can also watch Thursday Night Football from anywhere in the world and enjoy fast and high-quality streaming.



Bonus: Martial Arts (Honorable Mention)

The youngsters in America are developing an interest in martial arts. And that is why it has earned its place among the top 10 most popular sports in America.


Most Popular Sports in America - Detailed Statistics - Top 5 In 2021

Sport Viewership % TV viewing record (Since 2005) Major professional league Participants NCAA DI Teams (Men + Women) States (HS)
American football 38.8% 111.9m National Football League 8.9 million 249 (249M + 0W) 50
Basketball 15.3% 30.8m National Basketball Association 24.4 million 698 (351M + 349W) 50
Baseball-Softball 14.8% 40.0m Major League Baseball 23.3 million 589 (298M + 291W) 48
Soccer 8.2% 27.3m Major League Soccer 13.6 million 531 (205M + 332W) 50
Ice hockey 3.8% 27.6m National Hockey League 3.1 million 95 (59M + 36W) 15


Final Words

Feel free to leave a comment about this list of the Most Popular Sports in America. Let us know about its accuracy.

Leave a Reply

  1. John
    John June 12, 2019 10:28

    American football will eventually fade out slowly. It's still alive because of other reasons. Young kids will forget football and go for soccer or basketball or even volleyball. I give 15 years for nfl.

    1. Mike
      Mike September 2, 2019 05:14

      Soccer has more followers than football at all levels

    2. Troof
      Troof September 15, 2019 09:49

      I think you are correct, Soccer's popularity is on the rise.

    3. Jdb8316
      Jdb8316 October 11, 2019 16:46

      Obviously you don't get out much. I do. I have kids in many sports. Football is hands down, easily, and by far, the most popular/played youth sport by a large margin, and the most attended by parents. The same can be said at the high school level. So Ummm... You clearly have no clue what you're talking about. And baseball, and especially softball are surpassing basketball. People are losing interest in basketball and the NBA doesn't help matters.

    4. Michael
      Michael January 11, 2020 12:37

      I think football will fade out and rugby will grow in America.

    5. Dr Amigo
      Dr Amigo January 28, 2020 01:46

      American Football, that's not the correct name!

    6. Austin
      Austin February 5, 2021 15:58

      I have been to 12 different schools in 4 different states. It's interesting because baseball has seemed to be the most popular sport at all but one, that one being Phoenix, AZ, where everyone wanted to be a basketball player because some of their dads played for the Suns. 80 people tried out for the JV baseball team at my highschool last season. So I believe football is most popular to watch, only because it is all over TV. But more people play and go to baseball games. And basketball was made popular by Micheal Jordan and since he stopped playing it has steadily been in decline.

  2. Angele Hartnett
    Angele Hartnett June 24, 2019 04:59

    I have been checking out a few of your articles and i can claim pretty clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your website.

  3. JT
    JT August 1, 2019 06:52

    This list is flawed at the #4. Soccer in the United States is MUCH more than just MLS. The NHL is just about all of ice hockey. The broadcasts of English Premier League games on NBC in the USA garners about the same viewership as the NHL in the USA. And it doesn't end there. Liga MX garners about twice the the viewership than either the EPL or NHL - in the USA! And since these foreign leagues are consumed in the USA, they MUST be included in evaluations of popularity. And then there are the extremely popular tournaments broadcast in the US - from the UEFA Champions League to the Mens and women's world cups. Moreover, there are other indications such as the 2018 Gallup poll which showed that soccer is about twice as popular as ice hockey as favorite spectator sport of Americans. So its inarguable that soccer has surpassed ice hockey at #4. Now, there are realities such as hockey being more entrenched in certain regions and in certain ways, being more "mainstream" in certain ways, and generally having less stigma than soccer. But just because hockey may be more popular to Jim Rome, Tony Kornheiser and the like does not invalidate the fact that soccer is now more popular in general in the USA.

    1. S Star
      S Star October 3, 2019 06:10

      Ok, we get it lots of foreigners watch soccer here in the US. Soccer will never be a truly American sport. I'd say there are more Americans who watch hockey than soccer.

    2. Claude Hallal
      claude hallal December 24, 2019 12:55

      keep dreaming. hockey way more popular than soccer.

  4. Joe Mama
    Joe Mama November 7, 2019 06:34

    I know these people say hockey is the least popular, it's the best sport ever!!!

    1. Claude
      claude December 24, 2019 12:55


  5. Roodneylon Vidad
    Roodneylon Vidad January 29, 2020 04:38

    Number 1 sport in the philippines is basketball and we love NBA most nuber 1 rank in here=second boxing..all people in here are still watching on NBA..thank you

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das January 29, 2020 16:46

      But, this list is not about the Philippines.
      But yes, we will surely publish a list about the most popular sports in the Philippines pretty soon.

  6. Steve
    Steve February 6, 2020 21:34

    Thank you for this information, I appreciate your effort, please keep us update.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das February 7, 2020 17:37

      Thanks for your appreciation, mate. Keep visiting!

  7. Riedy
    Riedy February 14, 2020 11:26

    I have been browsing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful value enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you probably did, the net can be a lot more useful than ever before.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das February 14, 2020 17:12

      Thanks for your appreciation. Keep visiting our blog!

  8. Rachelle
    Rachelle April 7, 2020 06:39

    Hi, this article about Top 10 Most Popular Sports in America 2020 (TV Ratings) is very useful and inspirational. Great success with this site!

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das April 7, 2020 17:23

      Thanks for your kind appreciation. Keep visiting our sports blog!

  9. M Shiri
    M Shiri April 13, 2020 20:28

    Boxing? Kickboxing? MMA?

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das April 14, 2020 17:43

      No, these sports are yet to become as popular as these sports we have mentioned in this list.

  10. Robert
    Robert June 2, 2020 23:36

    Thank you for this information.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das June 3, 2020 17:15

      Thanks for your appreciation. Keep visiting our sports blog!

  11. Jay
    Jay July 25, 2020 12:24

    I've never heard of anybody here in America get excited about the big game of badminton, but it is fun as hell to play so I can can see the appeal. I think lacrosse deserves that spot.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das July 25, 2020 17:12

      Thanks for your suggestions. We will definitely keep that in our mind during our next update.
      And, keep visiting our sports blog!

  12. Joey Andiamo
    Joey Andiamo August 17, 2020 11:21

    We can all sit here and argue which is most popular and how wrong or right this list is but no will we ever agree. The key here is demographics. So there's two types of people that have a unique perspective on sports in America, and which is more popular and that is;
    1. People who have lived multiple states and places.
    2. The people who have only lived in a state where they don't have any pro sports at all.

    Let's start with the point number one. People who have lived different states and places can see which sport has more love in which states, and compare averages on popularity and love. So point number one is pretty straight forward now onto point number two which takes a bit more depth. To kick off point number two, is personal experience on my end. I live in Nevada, originally from California, but I moved out of CA when i was two, so I've been in NV my whole life.
    Up until 2017, we've had no Pro Sports teams here, unless you count XFL back in the early 2000s. We have the Golden Knights in NHL and now the Raiders are coming to Vegas. What gives the states without any teams a unique perspective is we really had no obligations to any team in any sport because we had no hometown allegiances so we chose any team we really wanted to choose. Not saying everyone can't do that, but most people go with where they're from or where they live. Now since we had no teams, we really get a view on what sports are popular and which aren't because being in Vegas, its a melting pot of different people from different places that bring their love for their home teams.
    That being said, prior 2017, the most popular sports here were NFL, NBA, Soccer/Football, pretty much in that order. I am a huge MLB fan but here, it's not a popular sport at all out here. Very rarely do I find baseball fans I can sit there and talk about hours on end. Every city and state is different though as I'm sure if I lived in New York, MLB would be a common subject to converse about. Another one was NHL, that's what bugs me about the locals here, I have been a Blues fan since I was a kid, and no one here would ever hangout with me if I was at a bar watching them play.
    It was even rare to find a bar that would put a hockey game on! Now you got all these hockey fans that don't even know what off sides means, talk about posers. Anyways like I was saying demographics is the key. Hockey isn't as big on the west coast as it is on the east coast. NBA, I feel isn't as popular in the mid-west as it on the two opposing coasts. MLB is hit or miss, no pun intended, and Soccer's popularity I feel is strong in the states where more foreigners move to.

    So in conclusion folks, we're never going to see eye to eye on this list or our opinions and I really think it's based on where you're from. I would have to say, I think this list is pretty solid, If it were catered to vegas, I think MLB would be in a different slot but other than that not bad. Anyways, sorry about the novel, I'm sure many of you won't read or agree at all, just thought I'd give insight from someone who has lived in a state where no sports teams have called home prior to 2017.

    Take Care!

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das August 17, 2020 17:37

      That's a detailed explanation, indeed!
      But yes, even I do agree that the preference can vary depending on the state you are living.

    2. Adam
      Adam September 21, 2021 11:39

      Thank you, finally someone with some common sense.

  13. Patrick
    Patrick August 21, 2020 13:55

    WWE is more popular than any other sports, USA, because wwe is world wide popular through the fast years.

  14. Isak Ketsakidis
    Isak Ketsakidis August 28, 2020 16:50

    Countries like America and Australia New Zealand rely on the world cup (soccer)every four years to promote the National team and the Game. If they happen to not make it then sure enough it puts more pressure on the organisations X 10 to build the game up.

  15. Haadi Husain
    Haadi Husain November 11, 2020 23:00

    Pretty sure basketball overtook baseball recently according to a Gallup poll

  16. Bailey, Bailey, Bailey
    Bailey, Bailey, Bailey November 13, 2020 13:05

    Why is swimming not on the list it is so nice. Well I am a swimmer so why can't it be on the list. My influencers are Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, and most important Micheal Phelps. I am drawing a realistic picture of Micheal Phelps. I will also draw Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin.

  17. Charlis
    charlis November 18, 2020 23:35

    I read a lot of posts but the topic covered in this is the most comprehensive

  18. Safiullah
    safiullah February 15, 2021 03:46

    l love MMa sport its so much popular at usa
    l like to join at this UFC lm a hero

  19. Able Charlie
    able charlie March 12, 2021 21:29

    Hi there! I read a lot of posts but the topic covered in this is so Amazing

  20. Hunter
    hunter April 7, 2021 13:23

    i like baseball

  21. Fatima Noor
    Fatima Noor June 7, 2021 07:33

    You are the right, Soccer's popularity is on the raise day by day. Also Golf is the most popular games.

  22. Mike
    Mike July 1, 2021 09:17

    I thought basketball would be number three also. However, on another list it was ranked at number 2(just behind american football). I don't see how baseball would be more popular. I don't hate it but it can be very slow and not too exciting much of the time. Basketball however is my favorite sport.

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