Most popular sport in the USA (2023 updates)

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American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer are the most popular sport in the USA. In addition to being popular with fans, these team sports are widely watched on television, have a professional league, are played by millions of Americans, are varsity sports at many Division I colleges, and are played in high schools across the country.

Favorite Sports Viewing Records %
American football (NFL)37%
Basketball (NBA)11%
Baseball (MLB)9%
Association football (soccer) (MLS)7%
Ice Hockey (NHL)4%

American football (also called “football” in the U.S.) is the most popular sport in the United States. Despite some decline in popularity in recent years, it remains the most popular spectator sport. A recent Gallup poll found that 37% of Americans consider football to be their favorite sport. Professional football (the National Football League) and college football (the National Collegiate Athletic Association for Football) are the most popular forms of football.

Most popular sport in the USA

There are 32 teams in the NFL, equally divided between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). Each NFL season lasts 17 weeks, from the beginning of September until the end of December. A total of 16 games are played by each team.

After the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, where they play in an elimination tournament. The two teams left playing advance to the Super Bowl, the game that marks the official end of the football season. Each year, the Super Bowl is held on the first Sunday in February, and it is the most-watched sporting event in the country.

2. Basketball (NBA) – Most Watched Sport in USA

Basketball, which is also one of the most popular sports in the world, is the third most popular sport in the U.S., with an estimated 825 million fans worldwide. Although the sport originated in the United States, it is now played on every continent (except Antarctica).

National Basketball Association (NBA) is the name of the U.S. professional basketball league. NBA teams are divided into two conferences, Eastern Conference and Western Conference.


The NBA season typically runs from October through April. Teams play 82 games during the regular season. Eight teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, and the two winning playoff teams advance to the NBA Finals.

Baseball is the Third most popular sport in the United States and the seventh most popular sport in the world.

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the professional baseball league in the United States. The National League (NL) and the American League (AL) are the two major leagues. The NL and the AL are divided into three divisions: East, West, and Central.


Overall, there are 30 MLB teams. Each year, the baseball season lasts from March or early April until the end of September or early October. Each of the 30 teams in the AL and NL will play 162 games. Post-season games usually last until late October but can stretch into November.

Following the regular season, two AL and two NL wild-card teams advance to the playoffs. The two winners of the playoffs advance to the World Series (also known as the Fall Classic), and the winning team receives the Commissioner’s Trophy.

4. Soccer/Football/Association Football (MLS)

The Forth most popular sport in America is association football, known as “soccer” in the U.S. and as “football” in most other countries.

The United Soccer League (USL) is the professional men’s soccer league in the U.S. Another professional league is Major League Soccer (MLS), which is sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a professional women’s soccer league. Both leagues are relatively popular.

Soccer in the United States is governed by the same rules as football in other countries. On an evenly divided field, two teams compete against each other to score a goal in the opponent’s net.

In the U.S. and Canada, there are 30 USL leagues and 24 MLS teams. The United States Men’s National Soccer Team and United States Women’s National Soccer Team are the two most popular soccer teams in the United States.

5. Ice Hockey (NHL) – Most Played Sport in America

Hockey (or just “hockey”) is another beloved sport in the United States. The National Hockey League (NHL) is the professional hockey league in North America.

NHL consists of 31 teams: 24 from the U.S. and 7 from Canada. On an evenly divided ice surface, two teams compete against each other. The objective of the competition is to score the puck into the goalpost by pitching it back and forth between the teams.

The hockey season usually lasts from October to April. Teams play 82 games, and the top three teams in each division and two wild card teams make the playoffs. The Stanley Cup winner is the team that wins the playoffs.

The most popular NHL teams are the Boston Bruins from Boston, Massachusetts; the Montreal Canadiens from Montreal, Canada; the New York Rangers from New York, New York; the Chicago Blackhawks from Chicago, Illinois; and the Toronto Maple Leafs from Toronto, Canada.

If you are loving Cricket read also where and how to watch IPL, T20 WC, and many more cricket series.

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