Which Sports Bring in the Most Money?

A new study looks at which sports bring in the most money.

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In the world of professional sports, there is a lot of money to be made. Some sports bring in more money than others, though, and this can be due to a number of factors. The popularity of the sport, the top athletes in the sport, and the popularity of the league or governing body can all play a role in how much money a sport brings in.

There are a few different ways to measure how much money a sport brings in. One is through ticket sales, which can give an idea of how popular the sport is. Another is through sponsorships and endorsements, which can give an idea of how willing companies are to invest in the sport. Finally, there are television deals, which can give an idea of how popular the sport is with broadcasters.

Looking at all three of these measures, it is clear that some sports bring in more money than others. Football, basketball, and baseball are all at the top when it comes to money brought in through ticket sales, sponsorships, and television deals. These three sports are also some of the most popular in the world, which likely contributes to their high earning potential.


Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, and the NBA is its premier professional league. In terms of revenue, the NBA is second only to the NFL. In the 2018-19 season, the NBA generated $8.76 billion in revenue. This was a 7% increase from the previous season. The average NBA team is now worth $1.9 billion. The NBA has 30 teams, and each team plays 82 regular season games.

The vast majority of the NBA’s revenue comes from television contracts and sponsorship deals. In 2017, the NBA signed a new nine-year television deal with ESPN and Turner Sports worth $24 billion. This deal represents a huge increase from the previous television deal, which was worth $930 million per year. The NBA also has lucrative sponsorship deals with companies like Nike, Adidas, Gatorade, and T-Mobile. These deals are worth billions of dollars over several years.

TV ratings for the NBA have been declining in recent years, but they are still strong compared to other sports leagues. The 2018-19 NBA season averaged 1.9 million viewers per game on ESPN and TNT, which was down 7% from the previous season but still higher than any other sport besides NFL football.


The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues, the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL’s 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, seven teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held on the first Sunday in February and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself to the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League (AFL) in 1966, and between faceless negotiation sessions and drawn-out court battles, they reached an agreement. In 1970, both leagues absorbed four teams apiece to equal 28 total. Additionally a champion would be crowned via a Super Bowl game which would feature representatives from each league playing against one another until 1977 when AFC teams stopped playing against their NFC counterparts. This system stayed in place until 2002 when realignment occurred and divisions within each league were made more uniform. playoff spots were also increased from 8 to 12 total teams. The most notable change however was that games which featured two divisional opponents meeting up in playoff battles were scrapped for a more traditional seeding system . . .


Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises about 240 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.


The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league composed of 30 teams, of which 27 are based in the United States and three in Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the NHL playoff champion at the end of each season.

While other major North American sports leagues generate higher average per-game attendance and television ratings, the NHL lags behind in revenue growth. In recent years, however, the league has seen significant increases in both total revenue and franchise values.

According to Forbes magazine, the NHL generated $4.3 billion in total revenue during the 2016-17 season. This was a 7% increase from the previous season and marked the first time that the league had eclipsed the $4 billion mark. The majority of this revenue came from television rights fees and sponsorship agreements. Live event revenue, which includes ticket sales and concessions, accounted for just over 20% of total revenue.


In conclusion, it is clear that the sports which bring in the most money are those which are most popular globally. Soccer, basketball, and cricket are all examples of sports which generate significant income from TV rights, merchandise sales, and ticket sales. While there are other factors which can affect a sport’s popularity and profitability, such as weather or location, it is evident that the most important factor is the sport’s ability to capture a global audience.

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