New York Red Bulls
© Getty Im
Soccer (Football)

10 most watched soccer leagues

Soccer continues to be the most viewed and most played sport across the globe, and these 10 leagues are leading the way.
By Sean Wright
5 min readPublished on
Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the most elite defenders in the game. He plays right-back for Premier League team Liverpool FC, and he is quick to admit he is a competitive guy.
“It's just about keeping the momentum going, and it doesn't matter whether it's Champions League or Premier League or whatever trophy you're going for, you've got to focus on the opponent that lies ahead,” Arnold says.
Around the world, you’ll find intensely competitive players like Arnold and, of course, billions of passionate fans.

The 10 Most Watched Soccer Leagues

So which leagues are soccer’s 3.5 billion fans watching the most? Below is our list of the most-watched soccer leagues in the world.

Premier League

An image of footballer Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Just two weeks after his 18th birthday Trent made his first-team debut

© Liverpool FC

During the 2018-2019 season, 3.2 billion people watched Premier League soccer, making it the most viewed and most popular soccer league in the world. The League started in England in 1990, and it’s now made up of 20 teams. Part of what makes the Premier League so fun to watch is the A-list superstars that have called this league home, including Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Thierry Henry. The League is dominated by Manchester City which has won six championships, but Liverpool and Chelsea also stand out.

La Liga

Real Madrid

Real Madrid

© Matthias Hangst

Spanish La Liga was founded in 1929, and by the 2019-2020 season, it had more than 2.5 billion viewers around the world. Of the 20 teams in La Liga, Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate. Every time these two teams face off against each other, it’s known as El Clásico, and viewers can expect high-intensity games with lots of style, competitiveness, and star players on the field. One of those star players was all-time great Lionel Messi, who played for Barcelona for 17 seasons.

Chinese Super League

The Chinese Super League logo

It’s about time the CSL is in FIFA

© Chinese Super League

Viewership reached about 700 million during the Chinese Super League’s 2019 season. The best league in Asia, CSL has been around for 18 years and has 18 teams. Guangzhou has won the most championships in the league’s history. The most intense rivalries in the league are known as the Shanghai Derbies, when the three Shanghai-based clubs compete for local bragging rights.

Ligue 1

Ligue 1

Ligue 1

© Ligue 1

About 54 million people tuned in to watch Ligue 1 soccer on French television during the 2019-2020 season. This French league has 20 teams, and was founded in 1930. Paris Saint-Germain and Saint-Étienne are among the most popular teams in the league, with ten championships apiece. Tune in to a Paris Saint-Germain match to catch a glimpse of soccer superstar Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., better known as Neymar. And if you’re looking for a fierce rivalry, you’ll want to catch the Derby du Nord, when RC Lens and Lille OSC face off.


RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig

© GEPA pictures / Red Bull Content Pool

Six million fans tuned in when Bundesliga resumed play after a coronavirus-related break in May 2020, setting a new record for the league. Founded in 1963, Bundesliga is the top soccer league in Germany. It is known as the most fan-friendly league in the world because of the big stadiums, affordable ticket prices and elite soccer. Of its 18 teams, Bayern Munich is the most successful with 31 championships.

Serie A

Jogadores de Torino e Juventus disputam lance

Jogadores de Torino e Juventus disputam lance

© Divulgação / Juventus FC

In 2021, about 4.3 million fans tuned in for Serie A’s opening weekend. The league is based in Italy, and has been around for more than 100 years. Of its twenty teams, Juventus dominates with 36 championships. There are multiple rivalries in Serie A, but none bigger than AC Milan vs. Inter Milan– better known as The Milan Derby.

Liga Apertura

Liga Apertura has 3.7 million viewers around the world and the fan base is constantly growing, thanks to the expansion of Mexican soccer. This Mexican league began in 1943 and has 18 teams. The league has four big rivalries, and the biggest is El Súper Clásico, a face-off between Chivas Guadalajara and Club América. América leads the league with 13 championships.

Major League Soccer

New York Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls

© Getty Images

On average two million viewers tune in to watch Major League Soccer, a league founded in 1993 and based in the United States. The LA Galaxy has a league-high of five championships and is considered one of the most popular teams. There are many rivalries in the MLS including the New York Derby, which is a face-off between the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. In total, the MLS has 28 teams and is adding another team in 2023.


The rivalry between Eredivisie teams Ajax and PSV Eindhoven is known as De Topper. When these teams met up in 2021, the match attracted a record 1.46 million viewers. Founded in 1956, Eredivisie is one of the two professional leagues in the Netherlands. The team finishing lowest in the Eredivisie is relegated to the Eerste Divisie at the end of the season, and the champion of the Eerste Divisie is promoted to Eredivisie. Ruud Gullit is one of the many famous soccer players who played for Eredivisie.

Brasileiro Série A

An image of footballers from Red Bull Bragantino celebrating.

Red Bull Bragantino are a team on the rise

© Ari Ferreira/Red Bull Bragantino

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A has about 1.4 million viewers across the globe. It was started in 1959 and currently has 20 teams. Clube Atlético Mineiro is the current champion but Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras holds the most championships. The league has many rivalries including the Choque-Rei (The Kings’ Clash) - the rivalry between Palmeiras and São Paulo. This is one of the most hot-headed grudge matches in the league.


Soccer continues to be the most viewed and most played sport across the globe, and these 10 leagues are leading the way. No matter where you are in the world, you’re bound to find intense matchups and passionate fans. You’ll also find exciting variations of the game from freestyle soccer to beach soccer.