Recently, Ormax Media carried out a study in India about the diversity of sports fans in the country. The sample size was about 12,000 across rural and urban areas, while the designated number of sports fans was at 136 million. In this article, we will be taking a look at the top ten sports in India with the most number of fans.
Top 10 most viewed sports in India
10. Table Tennis – 4.1m
Table tennis is an emerging sport in the country, with players like Manika Batra and Sharath Kamal helping popularize the sport in the modern day.
9. Hockey – 5.8m
Hockey is rather underrated considering that India earned the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and India’s past glory in the sport. More work needs to be done to capture the progress of the sport.
8. Volleyball – 7.6m
Volleyball is among the fastest and most competitive sports in the world. And it has enjoyed a significant rise in popularity due to the Prime Volleyball League.
7. Boxing – 8.7m
Having produced the likes of Vijender Singh, Mary Kom and Lovlina Borgohain, 8.7 million boxing viewers have been recorded in India. The sport has enjoyed major improvements due to the success of Indian athletes in international competitions.
6. Athletics – 9.4m
The fanbase of athletics increased dramatically after Neeraj Chopra earned India’s first Olympic gold medal in athletics. This achievement has motivated the paralympic athletes to compete at higher levels as well.
5. Badminton – 11.5m
The Premier Badminton League has helped foster the growth of the sport in India, which is now in the top five. Elite sports persons like PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen and Saina Nehwal have helped strongly boost the badminton viewership in the country over the last decade.
Despite the success of the ISL, football remains number 4 in terms of the most popular sports in the country. Foreign competitions like the Premier League and Champions League perform much better in terms of viewership in the country.
3. WWE / Wrestling – 26.5 million
Professional wrestling and the sport of wrestling are both very popular in India. Promotions like WWE and AEW, along with their targeted marketing strategies, have helped dramatically increase viewership. On the other hand, Ravi Kumar and Bajrang Punia are some of the homegrown athletes that have helped popularity wrestling in India.
2. Kabaddi – 28.5m
The promotion of the Pro Kabaddi League franchise has helped boost the viewership of the sport massively. It ranks higher than football and wrestling with close to 30 million fans, which is quite an achievement.
1. Cricket – 124.2m
Cricket takes the top spot in terms of the most popular sports in the country by a very long shot. The success of the IPL and the Indian cricket team has helped attract fans from all walks of life, with a staggering 124 million people enjoying the bat and ball game.