Football (or soccer) is undoubtedly the most popular sport on planet Earth when it comes to global TV audience figures. In this article, we look at the English Football League, from level one to four, and the other most popular leagues in the world, and how many league games they play each season.
The English Premier League
More info: https://www.premierleague.com/
When first launched in 1992, nobody had any real idea how massively popular English Premier League football would turn out to be.
After 104 years of football tradition, the top teams at the time broke away and formed a new league, in which it would share its income rather than sharing it as had previously been the case, with all four divisions.
At that time, there were only 13 players from outside the UK. Shortly after, along came Rupert Murdoch and Sky Television, pouring in huge sums of money to win and keep the rights for televising and promoting the new super league. It was the beginning of the journey to where it now lies, as the most popular league in the world.
The total number of club sides in the Premier League was reduced from 22 to 20 at the end of the 1995/95 season. While three teams were relegated to what was then the Football League First Division, only two were promoted.
So there used to be 42 matches in a season but now there are 38.
According to research carried out by SPORT+MARKT in 2020, the Premier League plays to an annual TV audience of 4.7 billion, with games being viewed by people in 643 million homes in 212 counties worldwide.
The EFL Championship and EFL Leagues 1 and 2
More info: https://www.efl.com/clubs-and-competitions/
Of course, football in England isn’t just about the Premier League. The so-called “English Football League Pyramid System” incorporates 11 Levels. The first four levels comprise “The League, while the other seven levels comprise “Non-League Football.” In descending order, the first 4 levels are (1) – the English Premier League, (2) the EFL Championship, (3) EFL League One, and (4) EFL League Two.
Each league in the EFL comprises 24 teams and 46 games.
La Liga – Spain
More info: https://www.laliga.com/en-GB
The foremost professional football league in Spain is La Liga. It was founded in 1929 and today is contested by 20 teams, which means that each team plays 38 league matches in one season. It is the second most popular football league in the world, with a worldwide audience of around 900 million.
The two most prodigious teams in terms of La Liga Championship titles are Real Madrid, who have won it 35 times and Barcelona, who have been crowned champions on 27 occasions.
Serie A – Italy
More info: https://www.legaseriea.it/en
Serie A is Italy’s highest level of professional men’s football. It was founded in 1929 and comprises 20 teams. They play each other in the league once at home and once away, totalling 38 league matches per club per season. Serie A comes in at No. 3 in terms of worldwide viewers, with a viewership of around 400 million.
The teams that have won the Serie A Championship the most times are Juventus, crowned champions 36 times, and Internazionale and AC Milan, both of which have finished top of the table on 19 occasions.
Bundesliga – Germany
More info: https://www.bundesliga.com/en/bundesliga
The Bundesliga is relatively young in world football league times in as much as it was founded in 1962, with the first season being played out in 1963/64. The league comprises 18 teams which means a total of 34 matches per season. The Bundesliga is number four on our worldwide viewer league table, with approximately 300 million viewers.
The most successful team by far is Bayern Munich, who have been crowned Bundesliga champions 32 times.
Ligue 1 – France
More info: https://www.ligue1.com/
The pinnacle of professional men’s football in France is Ligue 1. It was founded in 1932 and, like many of the major leagues in Europe, comprises 20 teams, with each team playing each other twice, making a total of 38 games per season. In 5th place on our TV viewership table, Ligue 1 attracts around 120 million viewers.
The most Ligue 1 title wins are shared by several clubs – PSG have won it 11 times, Saint-Étienne 10, with Marseille, Monaco and Nantes all having won it 9 times.