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Which is globally more popular, the Olympics or the World Cup?

February 15, 2022

Written By,

Brijesh Mehta

globally more popular, Olympics or the World Cup?

Without any doubt, the FIFA World Cup Finals and the Olympics are the two most important sporting events in the world today. Both attract billions of viewers, millions of dollars in sponsorship deals, and hundreds of enthusiastic players whenever both of these competitions are held.

But, when it comes down to it, which of these two sports shows is globally popular? To know about this, there are various areas where comparisons can be made which are described below:

Viewership Count

In terms of viewership, we believe both games have comparable data because audience preferences vary greatly around the world.

According to Statista research, the most recent Olympic Games, held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, drew 3.6 billion viewers. However, this is a piece of data that includes all of the sports that have been played. On the other side, according to the Global Broadcast and Audience Summary, the most recent World Cup Finals of 2018, held in Russia, garnered a total of 3.57 billion viewers watching a single World Cup game; we can simply tell which sport attracts the most spectators.

No sporting event can match the viewership of the World Cup final when it comes to individual events.  For instance, the 2018 final between France and Croatia was seen by around 1.12 billion people for at least a minute.

Number of countries and participants

The 2016 Olympics had a total of 11,238 players from 207 countries to Rio de Janeiro. While there were 209 countries that participated in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, only 32 teams made it to Russia for the month-long World Cup Finals play.

As each team is allotted only 23 squad players, the total number of participants is way less than that of the Olympic Games i.e. 736. So, in this category, even though the participation of nations is almost similar, the Olympic Game leads in terms of a total number of players.

Involvement of Experienced Players

Most superstar players decline their country’s invitation to the Olympic Games squad due to age restrictions, the time Olympic is held in, and a lack of competition.

Every national team is only allowed to have three players beyond the age of 24 in the Olympics, but there are no such restrictions in the World Cup.

This ensures that highly experienced and well-known players can easily compete in the FIFA World Cup, enhancing public interest in sports betting because it is much easier to predict based on a player’s past performance.

The World Cup gives audiences several opportunities to root for their particular favorites and place wagers on their desired players’ chances of winning. Hence, if you’re one of them who enjoy sports and want to bet on your favorite athlete, you can easily do so using BetBarter India.


The FIFA World Cup is not only one of the most prestigious sporting events, but it also has a sizable prize pool. FIFA received $5.36 billion in revenue from the 2018 World Cup in Russia, according to data. The majority of the funds come from broadcasting rights and partnerships with some of the world’s most well-known corporations.

In addition, the total prize pool for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was 791 million dollars. On the other hand, according to the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics gathered sponsorship income of just $3.3 billion from 68 sponsors.

This obviously shows that the World Cup has a greater financial impact than the Olympics.

Winning Prestige

The majority of Olympic sports that are actively watched during the games are generally neglected once the games are done. On the other side, the FIFA World Cup is the most sought title in all of sports on a global scale, with champions renowned in their home nations for the rest of their lives.

Gamblers favorite

When comparing various aspects, we should not forget that sports betting is also one most crucial factors in determining a game’s popularity.

As football is one of the major sports to watch and bet on around the world, most people choose to bet on the World Cup because it is a single sport, unlike the Olympics, which has a large number of sports and requires a high level of understanding in each respective field to gamble on. According to a FIFA analysis, a total of $155 billion was wagered on the event around the world in 2018.

This shows that the World Cup is not only one of the most exciting events in history but also extremely popular among gamblers.

Our final words: So, which is exactly more popular?

While the Olympics has by far the largest participation and is undeniably a spectacular show, it is still considered a collection of minor sports for which general audiences get less excited than FIFA.

The World Cup Finals, on the other hand, is the most popular sport globally for which millions of devoted football fans are eagerly waiting to see the match and are enthralled by the players’ performance no matter victory or defeat. Even non-football fans can’t help but be enticed by the thrills that only the World Cup can provide.

So, if “globally popular” means “more important,” the World Cup is unquestionably popular than the Olympics, despite the fact that the Olympics has its own historical significance and is home to the majority of sports. The World Cup is focused on a single sport, and not everyone will watch all sorts of sports. As a result, more people are watching the World Cup because it is more understandable and easier for its followers to place their bet over long-awaited matches and favorite players.

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Written By,

Brijesh Mehta

Brijesh Mehta is a content writer & strategist from India providing his top-notch skills & expertise in the Sports and online casino industry for more than seven years. He is an avid reader and creative writer who is fond of words and uses them to teach others about online betting and trending sports news through his in-depth guides.