Superbowl vs World Cup Finals: A comparison of the two biggest football finals

Superbowl vs World Cup Finals: A comparison of the two biggest football finals

Ciku Njuguna
May 17, 2024 at 10:56 PM
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FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup

American Football and soccer are among the most popular sports, attracting millions of fans globally. The disciplines also have two of the most popular competitions. Dig in for a complete Super Bowl vs World Cup Finals comparison, focusing on fan participation, viewership, and revenue generated.

Super Bowl vs World Cup
The FIFA World Cup (l) and the Super Bowl LVIII's Vince Lombardi (r) trophies. Photo by Cedric Ribeiro/Coca-Cola/Ryan Kang.
Source: Getty Images

Table of Сontents:

Which is more popular, the World Cup or the Super Bowl? Sports Brief has used factual data from FIFA and NFL sources to analyse the similarities and differences and finally answer the question: Is the Super Bowl bigger than the World Cup? This article has outlined details of the Super Bowl vs World Cup Final viewership, profitability, and fan participation.

Super Bowl vs World Cup Finals, which is better?

According to History, the inaugural Super Bowl was held on January 15, 1967, in front of 61,000 football fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. As of May 2024, fifty-eight AFL-NFL World Championship matches have been held across the United States.

The FIFA World Cup was first held in 1930, as reported by the Olympics. 13 national teams competed against each other in Uruguay at Estadio Centenario Buenos Aires, Gran Parque Central, and Estadio Pocitos. Around 93,000 fans attended the final match between Argentina and Uruguay at Estadio Centenario Buenos Aires.

Super Bowl vs World Cup
Argentina's Lionel Messi lifts the FIFA World Cup trophy during the World Cup Final against France at Lusail Iconic Stadium on December 18, 2022. Photo by Tom Jenkins.
Source: Getty Images

Does the Super Bowl generate more money than the World Cup?

According to FIFA, the 2022 Qatar tournament generated $6.314 million in rights sales and $929 million in hospitality and ticketing. Al Jazeera revealed that the 2022 Qatar Tournament brought $7.5 billion in revenue, $1 billion more than the 2018 tournament held in Russia. Projections suggest the competition will bring in $10 billion in the next four years.

The New York Times published that the Super Bowl generated a revenue of $125 billion from broadcasting rights. Advertising per 30-second spot brought around $7 million per spot. Sources estimate the total amount generated by the tournament to range between $300 million and $1.3 billion.

Super Bowl vs World Cup
New England Patriots Tom Brady attempts a pass against Los Angeles Rams during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019. Photo by Scott Cunningham.
Source: Getty Images

The Super Bowl vs World Cup's generated revenues come in different spells. The FIFA World Cup generates a higher income after a four-year cycle, while the Super Bowl earns millions annually.

What is the most attended sporting event, Super Bowl vs World Cup?

Statista reported that the 1950 World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay attracted 173,850 spectators. The highest attendance recorded in American Football's match was in 1980, with 103,985 fans.

The Qatar 2022 final match between Argentina and France is the most-watched World Cup Finals, with 88,966 viewers. Although most of its popularity is limited to the United States, the Super Bowl attracts thousands of spectators, rivalling the global football event. Super Bowl LVIII had an attendance of 61,629 fans, the lowest in NFL history.

Super Bowl vs World Cup
Rihanna performs onstage during the Super Bowl LVII halftime show at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Ezra Shaw.
Source: Getty Images

What is watched more, the Super Bowl or the World Cup?

The Super Bowl LVIII had 62.5 million television viewers, as reported by the NFL, making it one of the most-watched single-day sporting events in the world. International viewership increased by 10%, with an average of 50.4 million fans in Canada, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, and China.

According to Nielsen, Super Bowl LVIII drew a record attendance of 123,714,000 through platforms such as CBS, Univision, Nickelodeon, and Nick-at-Nite.

Inside revealed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup broke records with five billion fans engaged across television, social media and streaming platforms. 1.5 billion fans watched the final match between France and Argentina.

Both events have evolved to become the most awaited sports competitions. Fans also buy tickets to watch other entertainment during the matches, such as the half-time show, closing, and opening ceremonies.

Superbowl vs World Cup Finals
Lionel Messi of Argentina (c) dribbles away from Dutch defenders during the FIFA World Cup 2022 quarter-final at Lusail Iconic Stadium on December 9, 2022. Photo by Tom Jenkins.
Source: Getty Images

How do the Super Bowl vs World Cup Final viewers in America compare? While soccer is the most popular sport on earth, most Americans watch the Super Bowl more than the World Cup.

Which event has the most sports online engagement, the Super Bowl or the World Cup?

FIFA revealed that the 2022 football tournament had six billion social media engagements and 93.6 million posts. The Super Bowl LVIII week recorded over 12 million engagements, which is fewer than the FIFA event.

Final word

The comparison of Super Bowl vs World Cup tournaments considers the fan engagement and economic value. Both competitions attract a separate group of fans owing to their unique attributes and athletes.

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Ciku Njuguna photo
Ciku Njuguna
Ciku Njuguna is a journalist with 3 year’s experience in content creation based in Kenya. She currently covers sports personnel as well as team biographies.