The choice of sport varies from individual to individual. Many people follow family trend, i.e. the sport their family used to watch from years but at the same time, many individuals make a choice of their own. When we conclude as which sport can be considered the most popular sports in the entire world, finding a perfect answer to becomes quite daunting. Today, with the help of internet, making quick online research and exploring sports world becomes easy.
Whenever such an online survey is conducted, soccer / football is always found to be on top; no matter what the criteria for the list are. The problem exists when it comes to clearly defining the variable for the list. For many, the most popular sport is one that is most played, most watched and the most talked about, but certainly, this is not the truth. Popularity of sports can be known by analyzing the number of spectators, the number of national associations, the number of registered participants, the number of people play the game, tournaments held in stadiums and facilities worldwide and merchandise sold. All these factors together influence the popularity of every individual sport in the entire sports world. However, to include all these factors in a single list is quite difficult, but then many of them should be included to find the answer.
Soccer or Football is always leading the list is followed by cricket, basketball, volleyball and many other versions of football. But it all depends upon the criteria being used for checking out the popularity. Reason behind soccer being the most popular sports in the world is its number of fans. Yes, when the list of popular sports is formulated based on number of fans than football is rightly at the top position. After football, comes cricket. Cricket in spite of being played in many parts of the sports world (not everywhere), has a great fan following. With 1 billion Indian fans, it has set its place amongst the top most popular sports of the World. And then is hockey; which is widely spread around the world by the English.
Today, most of the viewers sit back home and watch the play on internet. This is the reason why online audience has greatly grown as compared to the number of viewers who physically go to watch sporting events. Therefore, is it really fair to confirm the popularity of a sport depending upon the internet data? No, because this way, physical viewers or those watching the play on television, would be left out. Also, another limitation of using the online audience is that they do not represent a worldwide view. The information available on internet is generally US biased and therefore US popular sports like baseball, basketball and American football are highly represented.
Therefore in a nutshell, the popularity of sports is not at all uniform around the world. It keeps on varying depending upon various existing factors.