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Top 10 most watched football leagues in the world

Published at :November 29, 2021 at 4:31 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : Curbed)


These competitions invite the biggest crowds in the stadiums and TV viewers.

Football is arguably the most watched sport in the world. It invites huge crowds inside the stadium and much more through live broadcasting and streaming across the globe. The sport is massively popular, as more than 200 countries play it as their major sport. Some of the biggest league competitions across the globe invite huge viewership because of the quality of players and teams in them.

Here we rank the top 10 most watched football leagues in the world in terms of viewership in the stadium and audience watching on TV and other streaming platforms:

10. Chinese Super League

The Chinese Super League became a part of the global discussion after the competing clubs started offering huge contracts to attract big stars from Europe.

An average stadium attendance of 24,107 people is the highest in the whole of Asia, with more than a million viewers from across the planet. The league involves 16 teams and the reigning champions are Jiangsu Suning.

9. Eredivisie

Ajax have won the Eredivisie 35 times (Courtesy: AFC Ajax)

The Eredivisie, the premier league in the Netherlands is popular for its total football philosophy and producing incredible young players.

There is an average stadium attendance of 18,010 for matches in the Dutch Eredivisie and the league also enjoys a large audience from broadcasts and recently had 1.2m viewers for the Ajax vs PSV Eindhoven clash. However, the average viewership is less due to the low popularity of the rest of the teams.

AFC Ajax have won the competition a total of 35 times. The club are also the reigning champion.

8. Brasileiro Serie A

The first division of Brazil is the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A. The league is heavily popular in Europe, as it constantly produces incredible young players. Figures like Neymar, Vinicius Jr and more have come to Europe from the league.

Palmeiras are the most successful club because of their nine trophies and the reigning champions are Flamengo. The league has an average attendance of 43,458 and a viewership of 1.4m across the globe.

7. Bundesliga

The Bundesliga is one of the most watched football leagues in the world because of its attacking gameplay. Bayern Munich have won the competition 31 times and are also enjoying a nine-year winning streak.

In addition to a global audience, the league also observes 43,458 average attendance, being one the best-supported leagues by fans. It also has an average viewership of 361,000 per game reaches over 1.7m households.

6. Major League Soccer

Columbus crew were crowned MLS champions last season (Courtesy: ESPN)

Major League Soccer is the premier league competition in the United States of America. The division has 27 teams in it, divided into Eastern and Western conferences because of the size of the country.

The reigning champions are Columbus Crew, while Los Angeles Galaxy have won the competition the most (five times). Average stadium attendance currently stands at 21,310. It has had about 2m viewers per game in recent times, making it one of the most watched football leagues in the world.

5. Serie A

The first division of the Italian league system includes iconic clubs like AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus and more. The league enjoys 24.7k average viewers from the stadiums and reached over 2m viewers, while Cristiano Ronaldo was playing in the competition. Juventus have won the league 36 times and Inter Milan are the reigning champions of the competition.

4. Liga Apertura

The first division in Mexico is called the Liga MX Apertura and is the strongest North American football league. It bears a close resemblance to Spain and Brazil in the style of gameplay.

Club America are the record title winner with 13 trophies, while CD Cruz Azul are the defending champion of the competition. According to official figures, the average stadium attendance is 25,557 people. The TV viewership of the competition has observed a rise lately, reaching 3.7m households overall.

3. Ligue 1

Ligue 1 boasts of some the world's biggest football superstars (Courtesy: PSG Talk)

Famously known for being imbalanced in favour of the financial might of Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1 is one of the most watched football leagues in the world. However, before their takeover by rich owners, the league was a very unpredictable competition. Interestingly, AS Saint Etienne remain the most successful club with 10 league titles, followed by PSG and Olympique de Marseille, who have nine each.

LOSC Lille are the defending champions after winning it last season. The average stadium attendance is 22,484 coupled with 10.5m viewers per game, worldwide. The ratings have seen a boost since the arrival of Lionel Messi.

2. La Liga

The second most watched league in the world is La Liga. It includes legendary clubs like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona that have traditionally dominated the competition.

The Los Blancos are the most successful club in the league’s history, winning it 34 times. Atletico Madrid are the reigning champions of the competition, which enjoyed 76m viewers per game last season.

1. Premier League

The English Premier League is the undisputed leader in viewership across the globe. Considered the toughest league competition in the world, it also surpasses all others in terms of financial might. Some notable clubs that play in the league like Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur, bring in millions of viewers every year. 

The league enjoys an attendance of 38,181 people, reaches 643m viewers per game and has a worldwide television audience of over 3.2 billion people. Manchester United have won the competition 20 times, more than any other team.