Top 20 Professional Sports Leagues by Revenue 2024

Professional Sports Leagues by Revenue 2024: The world of pro sports is like a big, exciting show where super-skilled athletes impress fans, and huge fortunes are made. But let’s get to the basic question: who makes the most money in this global sports spectacle?

In this exploration, we’re going to look into the top 20 pro sports leagues by revenue and find out who the big financial players are. From the money-making giants of American football and European soccer to the up-and-coming stars of esports and cricket, we’ll explore a world where money mixes with cultural influence, big media companies, and fans from around the world.

Professional Sports Leagues by Revenue 2024

So, get ready for a surprise as we reveal the big-money Leagues in the sports world, spill the beans on how they make so much cash, and share the interesting stories behind their billion-dollar empires.

1. National Football League (NFL)

  • Sport: American football
  • Country: United States
  • Teams: 32
  • Mat­ches: 285
  • Revenue. (€ million): 17,035
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 532
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 59,772

The NFL is the highest-earning sports league in 2024 with $17,035 million in revenue, consisting of 32 teams divided into the AFC and NFC. The season starts with a preseason, followed by an 18-week regular season and playoffs leading to the Super Bowl in February, where the AFC and NFC champions face off.

Originally formed in 1920 as the APFA, the NFL introduced playoffs in 1933 and the Super Bowl in 1967, solidifying its status as the top American football league worldwide.

The Green Bay Packers hold the most championships, the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers lead in Super Bowl victories, and the current champions are the Kansas City Chiefs, who won Super Bowl LVII against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Major League Baseball (MLB)

  • Sport: Baseball
  • Country: Canada
  • Teams: 30
  • Mat­ches: 2,430
  • Revenue. (€ million): 10,476
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 349
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 4,311

MLB is ranked second in sports league revenue in 2024 at $10,476 million. With 30 teams split evenly between the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), MLB has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. It became the world’s oldest major professional sports league in 1903 when the NL and AL formalized their cooperation under the National Agreement.

MLB oversees a 162-game season for each team, leading to a postseason tournament and the iconic World Series, first played in 1903. The league’s top championship holders are the New York Yankees with 27 titles, and the reigning champions are the Texas Rangers, winners of the 2023 World Series.

MLB’s financial success is evident in its position as the second-wealthiest professional sports league globally, following the NFL. The league’s revenue in 2024 is $10,476 million. Beyond its financial achievements, MLB maintains high global viewership with baseball games broadcast on various platforms.

The league also manages Minor League Baseball and collaborates on the international stage with the World Baseball Softball Confederation for events like the World Baseball Classic tournament.

3. National Basketball Association (NBA)

  • Sport: Basketball
  • Country: United States, Canada
  • Teams: 30
  • Mat­ches: 1,324
  • Revenue. (€ million): 9,541
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 318
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 7,206

The NBA ranking 3rd in sports league revenue in 2024 with $9,541 million, is a premier professional basketball league composed of 30 teams, with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada. Founded on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA), it later merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949, becoming the National Basketball Association.

A subsequent merger with the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1976 added four franchises. The NBA’s regular season spans from October to April, with each team playing 82 games, and the playoffs extend into June. NBA players are among the world’s highest-paid athletes as of 2020.

As one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the NBA is recognized as the premier professional basketball league globally. It actively participates in USA Basketball and is affiliated with the FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States.

The league, headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, is the third-wealthiest professional sports league in North America, following the NFL and MLB, and ranks among the top four globally in revenue. The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers share the record for the most NBA championships, each with 17 titles. The current champions are the Denver Nuggets, victorious in the 2023 NBA Finals.

4. Premier League (EPL)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: England
  • Teams: 20
  • Mat­ches: 380
  • Revenue. (€ million): 6,442
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 322
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 16,952

The Premier League (EPL), ranking 4th in sports league revenue in 2024 with a revenue of $6,442 million, is a highly competitive football league contested by 20 clubs. The league operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL), and seasons typically run from August to May, with each team playing 38 matches against all other teams, both home and away.

The Premier League was established on February 20, 1992, when First Division clubs decided to break away from the English Football League, although promotion and relegation with the EFL Championship still occur.

The league benefits from a lucrative television rights deal, currently valued at £5 billion, with Sky and BT Group securing domestic broadcasting rights. This deal is set to increase to £6.7 billion from 2025 to 2026. Managed by a chief executive and with member clubs as shareholders, the Premier League is a corporation. It holds the distinction of being the most-watched sports league globally, broadcasting in 212 territories to 643 million homes and boasting a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. Additionally, the league has achieved success in European competitions, securing the top spot in the UEFA coefficient rankings as of 2023.

The Premier League has seen seven clubs win the title, with Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea among the most successful. The current revenue for the league is $6,442 million.

5. National Hockey League (NHL)

  • Sport: Ice hockey
  • Country: Canada, United States
  • Teams: 32
  • Mat­ches: 1,358
  • Revenue. (€ million): 4,920
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 153
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 3,608

The National Hockey League (NHL), ranking 5th in sports league revenue in 2024 with $4,920 million, consists of 32 teams, with 25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. Established in 1917, the NHL is a major professional ice hockey league and is regarded as the top-ranked professional ice hockey league globally, featuring players from 17 countries. The league awards the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, to the playoff champion each season.

The NHL originated in 1917, succeeding its predecessor, the National Hockey Association (NHA). Initially, the league had four Canadian teams, expanding to the United States in 1924 with the addition of the Boston Bruins.

Over the years, the NHL underwent expansions and mergers, evolving from the “Original Six” teams to the current 32 teams. Despite facing four league-wide work stoppages after 1992, the NHL has maintained its status as a major professional sports league.

The NHL’s regular season runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. The Stanley Cup playoffs follow, involving 16 teams and concluding in June to determine the league champion. The Montreal Canadiens hold the record for the most combined NHL titles with 25, and the current champions are the Vegas Golden Knights, winners of the 2023 Stanley Cup Finals. The NHL’s headquarters have been in Midtown Manhattan since 1989, showcasing its prominence in North American professional sports.

6. National First Division League Championship (La Liga)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: Spain
  • Teams: 20
  • Mat­ches: 380
  • Revenue. (€ million): 4,443
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 222
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 11,692

The National First Division League Championship, commonly known as La Liga, holds the 5th position in sports league revenue in 2024 with a revenue of $4,443 million. Administered by Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional, the league features 20 teams. Since its establishment, 62 teams have participated, with Barcelona winning the inaugural La Liga and Real Madrid securing a record 35 titles. The most recent champions are Barcelona, claiming victory in the 2022–23 edition.

La Liga has seen nine different teams crowned champions, but Real Madrid and Barcelona have been dominant, particularly during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. From the 1990s onward, Barcelona has been the dominant force, winning 17 titles. The league has consistently topped UEFA’s league coefficient rankings, leading European football for 22 of the 60 ranked years up to 2019. La Liga is renowned for producing successful clubs, with its teams winning the most UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup titles. La Liga is the seventh-wealthiest professional sports league globally, following prominent leagues such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, Premier League, NHL, and Bundesliga.

In terms of popularity, La Liga stands as one of the most-watched professional sports leagues globally, boasting an average attendance of 26,933 for league matches in the 2018–19 season. Sponsored by Electronic Arts since 2023, the league is officially known as LALIGA EA SPORTS.

7. Football Bundesliga (Bundesliga)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: Germany
  • Teams: 18
  • Mat­ches: 306
  • Revenue. (€ million): 3,610
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 200
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 11,797

The Football Bundesliga (Bundesliga) is ranked 7th in sports league revenue in 2024, generating a revenue of $3,610 million. As Germany’s primary football competition, the Bundesliga features 18 teams and operates on a promotion and relegation system with the 2. Bundesliga. The season runs from August to May, with games played on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. All Bundesliga clubs participate in the DFB-Pokal cup competition, and the league winner qualifies for the DFL-Supercup.

Bundesliga Standings 20232024

Since its inception, 56 clubs have competed in the Bundesliga, with Bayern Munich dominating by winning 32 of the 60 titles, including the last eleven consecutive seasons—an impressive European record. Other prominent champions include Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, and VfB Stuttgart. The Bundesliga ranks third in Europe according to UEFA’s league coefficient ranking for the 2022–23 season. It has a rich history of success in European competitions, with Bundesliga clubs winning numerous UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and other prestigious titles.

The Bundesliga holds the top spot globally in terms of average attendance, with an average of 45,134 fans per game during the 2011–12 season—the second-highest in any sports league worldwide after the American National Football League. The league’s matches are broadcast in over 200 countries. Established in 1962, the Bundesliga’s structure and organization have evolved, and it is now operated by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (German Football League).

8. National Professional League Serie A (Serie A)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: Italy
  • Teams: 20
  • Mat­ches: 380
  • Revenue. (€ million): 2,927
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 146
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 7,702

The National Professional League Serie A (Serie A) is ranked 8th in sports league revenue in 2024, with a revenue of $2,927 million. Operating as a round-robin tournament for over ninety years since the 1929–30 season, Serie A is Italy’s primary football competition. Organized by the Direttorio Divisioni Superiori until 1943, the Lega Calcio until 2010, and the Lega Serie A ever since, it is widely regarded as one of the best football leagues globally, known for its tactical prowess and defensive strength.

Serie A has a rich history, with notable clubs such as Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan, all founding members of influential football groups. These three clubs, along with others like Lazio, Fiorentina, Roma, and Napoli, are collectively known as the “seven sisters” of Italian football. Serie A has consistently been among the top football leagues in the world, leading UEFA’s ranking from 1986 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1999. It boasts a strong presence in international competitions, and Italian clubs have won numerous UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and other prestigious titles.

Known for hosting some of the world’s most famous clubs, Serie A has contributed significantly to football history. It has produced a high number of Ballon d’Or winners and World Cup champions. Juventus, in particular, stands out for being Italy’s most successful club and one of the most successful in Europe. Serie A is home to legendary footballers, with 42 players from the league featuring in FourFourTwo’s list of the 100 greatest footballers in history in 2017. The league’s revenue in 2024 is $2,927 million.

9. French Football Championship (Ligue 1)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: France, Monaco
  • Teams: 20
  • Mat­ches: 380
  • Revenue. (€ million): 2,407
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 120
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 6,334

The French Football Championship, known as Ligue 1, is ranked 9th in sports league revenue in 2024, with a revenue of $2,407 million. As the premier football competition in the French league system, Ligue 1 is administered by the Ligue de Football Professionnel and is contested by 18 clubs.

Ligue 1 seasons run from August to May, with each club playing two matches against every other team in the league, amounting to 34 matches over the season. The league is among the top national leagues in Europe, ranking fifth behind the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and the Bundesliga.

Inaugurated on September 11, 1932, under the name “National” before adopting “Division 1” after a year, Ligue 1 became its current title in 2002. Paris Saint-Germain is the most successful club with eleven league titles, and Lyon holds the record for the most consecutive titles, winning seven between 2002 and 2008. Marseille holds the record for the most seasons in Ligue 1, with 71 seasons, while Paris Saint-Germain holds the league record for longevity with 47 consecutive seasons (from 1974 to the present).

The current champions are Paris Saint-Germain, securing a record eleventh title in the 2022–23 season. The league has also been won by foreign-based club AS Monaco on multiple occasions, contributing to its status as a cross-border competition. Ahead of the 2023–24 season, the number of teams in the league was reduced to 18, with four teams from the 2022–23 Ligue 1 relegated to Ligue 2 and only two teams from Ligue 2 promoted to Ligue 1. The league’s revenue in 2024 is $2,407 million.

10. Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB)

  • Sport: Baseball
  • Country: Japan
  • Teams: 12
  • Mat­ches: 878
  • Revenue. (€ million): 1,506
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 125.5
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 1,715

Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), ranked 10th in sports league revenue for 2024 at $1,506 million, is commonly known as Japanese baseball. Its roots can be traced back to the formation of the “Greater Japan Tokyo Baseball Club” in 1934 and the Japanese Baseball League (JBL) two years later.

Despite challenges during World War II, the league persisted, and in 1950, the modern NPB emerged as the JBL reorganized, creating the Central League and the Pacific League, each with six teams. The annual Japan Series championship playoff series commenced that same year.

The Yomiuri Giants lead with 22 championships and 37 appearances in the Japan Series since its inception in 1950. The reigning champions are the Hanshin Tigers, who clinched the 2023 Japan Series against the Orix Buffaloes.

As of 2023, the Japan Series has seen 74 contests, with the Pacific League and the Central League each securing 37 victories. NPB oversees affiliated minor leagues, including the Western League and the Eastern League, contributing to its status as a prominent and successful baseball league with a significant presence in Japan and beyond.

11. Major League Soccer (MLS)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: United States, Canada
  • Teams: 28
  • Mat­ches: 489
  • Revenue. (€ million): 1,479
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 52.8
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 3,025

Major League Soccer (MLS), ranking 11th in sports league revenue for 2024 with $1,479 million, is the premier professional national soccer league in the United States and Canada. Established in 1993 as a result of the successful bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup, MLS has grown to include 29 teams, with 26 in the United States and 3 in Canada as of the 2023 season. The league’s headquarters are located in Midtown Manhattan.

Originating from the North American Soccer League (NASL), MLS faced financial challenges in its early years, experiencing losses and the folding of two teams in 2002. However, strategic developments such as soccer-specific stadiums, the Designated Player Rule enabling the signing of star players like David Beckham, and national TV contracts have contributed to the league’s profitability. With an average attendance of over 21,000 per game, MLS stands as the fourth-highest in average attendance among major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

The MLS regular season typically runs from late February or early March to mid-October, with each team playing 34 games. The Supporters’ Shield is awarded to the team with the best record. The postseason MLS Cup Playoffs, held in late October and November, culminate in the MLS Cup championship game.

Notably, unlike many soccer leagues globally, MLS operates as a single entity with fixed membership, owned by the league and individually operated by its investors. The LA Galaxy lead with five MLS Cups, while Columbus Crew are the defending champions as of the 2023 season.

12. Brazilian Championship Series A (Brasileirão)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: Brazil
  • Teams: 20
  • Mat­ches: 380
  • Revenue. (€ million): 1,120
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 56
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 2,947

The Brazilian Championship Series A, known as Brasileirão Assaí, is the 12th-ranked sports league by revenue in 2024, generating 1,120 million. As Brazil’s premier football competition, it features 20 clubs and operates on a promotion and relegation system with the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B. The league holds a significant position globally, having been recognized by the IFFHS in 2021 as the strongest national league in South America and the world.

The history of nationwide football competitions in Brazil is relatively recent, with state championships being predominant. The Taça Brasil in 1959 marked the shift to a regular nationwide tournament, and in 1971, the first tournament explicitly named “Campeonato Brasileiro” was held. The league has seen the retroactive declaration of historical tournaments as Brazilian championships, adding to its rich and evolving history.

The Campeonato Brasileiro is considered one of the world’s strongest leagues, boasting the second-most club world champion titles and the second-most Copa Libertadores titles. It is the most-watched football league in the Americas and among the most globally exposed, broadcast in 155 nations.

With a valuation exceeding US$1.43 billion and an annual turnover surpassing US$1.17 billion in 2012, it stands as the world’s sixth-most valuable championship. The league has witnessed the participation of 156 clubs since 1959, with Palmeiras emerging as the most successful club, having secured the title twelve times.

13. Indian Premier League (IPL)

  • Sport: Twenty20 cricket
  • Country: India
  • Teams: 10
  • Mat­ches: 74
  • Revenue. (€ million): 1,087
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 109
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 14,694

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the 13th highest-grossing sports league in 2024. It happens every year in India, featuring ten city-based teams founded by the BCCI in 2007. The competition usually takes place in the summer, from March to May, with a special window in the ICC Future Tours Programme. This is because there are fewer international cricket tours during the IPL seasons worldwide.

The IPL is the most popular cricket league globally and was ranked sixth for average attendance among all sports leagues in 2014. In 2010, it made history as the first sporting event broadcast live on YouTube. Its success led to the creation of other Indian sports leagues. As of 2022, the IPL’s brand value was ₹90,038 crore (US$11 billion). According to the BCCI, the 2015 IPL season contributed ₹1,150 crore (US$140 million) to India’s GDP.

In December 2022, the IPL’s value soared to US$10.9 billion, a 75% growth since 2020 when it was valued at $6.2 billion. The 2023 final became the most streamed live event on the internet, with 32 million viewers. In 2023, the IPL sold its media rights for the period of 2023–2027 for US$6.4 billion to Viacom18 and Star Sports. This translates to a value of $13.4 million per match.

There have been sixteen seasons of the IPL, and the current champions are the Chennai Super Kings, winning the 2023 season by defeating the Gujarat Titans in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The IPL’s revenue for the mentioned period is 1,087 million.

14. Australian Football League (AFL)

  • Sport: Australian rules football
  • Country: Australia
  • Teams: 18
  • Mat­ches: 207
  • Revenue. (€ million): 1,068.7
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 59.4
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 5,163

The Australian Football League (AFL), ranked 14th in Sports Leagues by Revenue in 2024, generated 1,068.7 million. Originally established as the Victorian Football League (VFL) in 1896, the league expanded beyond Victoria in the 1980s and adopted the name Australian Football League in 1990.

The competition features 18 teams across Australia’s five mainland states, with an additional Tasmanian team set to join in 2028. The AFL has successfully extended its reach by organizing matches not only across all Australian states and territories but also in New Zealand and China.

The AFL Premiership Season comprises a 23-match regular season running from March to September. The team with the best record earns the minor premiership, leading to a four-round finals series culminating in the AFL Grand Final.

Traditionally held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Grand Final determines the premiers, with Carlton, Collingwood, and Essendon being the most successful clubs, each having secured 16 premierships. As of the 2023 season, Collingwood holds the reigning premier title after winning the AFL Grand Final.

15. Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: China
  • Teams: 16
  • Mat­ches: 240
  • Revenue. (€ million): 945
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 59
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 3,938

The Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL), ranked 15th in Sports Leagues by Revenue in 2024, generates 945 million in revenue. Commonly known as the Chinese Super League, it serves as China’s top-tier professional football league, operating under the auspices of the Chinese Football Association (CFA).

Established in 2004 by rebranding the former top division, Chinese Jia-A League, the CSL has expanded since its inception, with 16 teams participating in the 2023 season.

A total of 36 teams have competed in the CSL, with nine winning the league title. Notably, Shanghai Port is the reigning champion, securing the 2023 edition. The league is popular in China, boasting an average attendance of 24,107 for league matches in the 2018 season, ranking sixth globally among professional association football leagues.

The CSL operates under the authority of the Chinese Football Association, and The CSL Company, the commercial branch, is a corporation where the CFA and member clubs act as shareholders, with plans for future transfer of shares to the clubs and establishment of a professional union to manage the league.

16. 2nd Bundesliga (2nd Bundesliga)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: Germany
  • Teams: 18
  • Mat­ches: 306
  • Revenue. (€ million): 867.8
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 48.2
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 2,836

The 2nd Bundesliga, ranked 16th in Sports Leagues by Revenue in 2024, boasts a revenue of 867.8 million. Established 11 years after the founding of the Fußball-Bundesliga, it serves as the second division for professional football in Germany, positioned below the Bundesliga and above the 3. Liga in the national football league system. All 2. Bundesliga clubs participate in the DFB-Pokal, the annual German Cup competition. Since its foundation, a total of 127 clubs have competed in the league.

The decision to establish the 2. Bundesliga as West Germany’s second-level football league was made in May 1973, and it commenced operations in August 1974 with two divisions of 20 clubs. The league was later reduced to a single division in 1981. After the 1991–92 season, clubs from the former East Germany joined the league, temporarily expanding it to two divisions. However, it returned to a single-division format in 1992 and has maintained 18 clubs since 1994.

Two clubs from the 2. Bundesliga are directly promoted to the Bundesliga, and a third is determined through play-offs. FC Nürnberg, SC Freiburg, 1. FC Köln, Arminia Bielefeld, and VfL Bochum hold the record for the most championships in the league with four each. Bielefeld also holds the record for the most promotions to the Bundesliga, with eight.

The league has a strong fan base, with an average of 22,224 spectators watching matches during the 2022-23 season, making it the highest among non-top-flight football leagues worldwide.

17. Russian Premier League (RPL)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: Russia
  • Teams: 16
  • Mat­ches: 240
  • Revenue. (€ million): 821
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 51.3
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 3,420

The Russian Premier League (RPL), ranked 17th in Sports Leagues by Revenue in 2024, boasts a revenue of 821 million. Established at the end of 2001, it was originally known as the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) and later rebranded with its current name in 2018. The league succeeded the Top Division, which ran from 1992 to 2001 as the top level of the Russian football league system.

With 16 teams competing, the RPL, as of the 2021/22 season, traditionally offered Champions League and UEFA Conference League qualifying spots. However, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, these opportunities, along with the national team’s participation in international competitions, have been suspended.

In the RPL, the last two teams at the end of the season are relegated to the Russian First League, while the 13th and 14th placed teams engage in a two-legged playoff against the 4th and 3rd teams from the National League. Since July 2022, the league is officially known as the Mir Russian Premier League, or Mir Russian Premier Liga, for sponsorship reasons, incorporating the Mir payment system.

Since its introduction in 2002, Zenit Saint Petersburg has been the most successful, winning the title nine times. Other notable titleholders include CSKA Moscow (6 times), Lokomotiv Moscow (3 times), Rubin Kazan (2 times), and Spartak Moscow (1 time). Zenit Saint Petersburg is the current champion, having secured the title consecutively from the 2018–19 season to the 2022–23 season.

18. English Football League Championship (EFL)

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: England, Wales
  • Teams: 24
  • Mat­ches: 557
  • Revenue. (€ million): 800
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 33.3
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 1,449

The English Football League Championship (EFL Championship), ranked 18th in Sports Leagues by Revenue in 2024, holds a revenue of 800 million. As the highest division of the English Football League (EFL) and the second-highest in the English Football League system, it features 24 clubs, with Burnley being the current holders after winning the 2022–23 edition. Introduced in the 2004–05 season, the Championship succeeded the Football League First Division and is a rebrand of the former Football League Second Division.

The league structure includes automatic promotion for the top two finishing teams to the Premier League, while the teams in 3rd to 6th place enter a playoff tournament, with the winner also earning promotion. The three lowest-finishing teams face relegation to League One. The Championship is recognized for its financial strength, ranking as the wealthiest non-top-flight football division globally, the ninth-richest in Europe, and the tenth-best-attended division in world football, boasting an average match attendance of 18,787 for the 2022–23 season.

Cardiff City holds the record for spending the most seasons in this division, while Birmingham City currently enjoys the longest tenure, having been absent last in the 2010–11 season. Barnsley achieved notable milestones, becoming the first club to attain 1,000 wins and play 3,000 games in second-tier English league football.

19. J1 League

  • Sport: Association football
  • Country: Japan
  • Teams: 20
  • Mat­ches: 380
  • Revenue. (€ million): 665.4
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 33.2
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 1,751

The J1 League, ranked 19th in Sports Leagues by Revenue in 2024, boasts a revenue of 665.4 million. Founded in 1992, it stands as one of the most successful leagues in Asian professional club football history.

Featuring 20 clubs, the league operates on a promotion and relegation system with the J2 League (formerly J.League Division 2). Originally named the J.League from 1993 to 1998, it transitioned into a two-division league and was known as J.League Division 1 from 1999 to 2014.

The J1 League plays a significant role in shaping the football landscape in Asia and contributes to the region’s footballing success.

20. EuroLeague

  • Sport: Basketball
  • Country: Europe
  • Teams: 18 260
  • Mat­ches: 260
  • Revenue. (€ million): 665
  • Revenue. / team (€ million): 36.9
  • Revenue. / match (€ thou­sands): 2,350

The EuroLeague, securing the 20th spot in Sports Leagues by Revenue in 2024, commands a revenue of 665 million. Widely acknowledged as the premier men’s league in Europe, the EuroLeague is a prestigious competition featuring 18 teams.

Sixteen teams hold long-term licenses, with additional wild cards, creating a semi-closed league structure. Originally organized by FIBA in 1958, the league underwent subsequent management by ULEB in 2000 and is currently solely managed by Euroleague Basketball.

The competition, initially known as the FIBA European Champions Cup (later rebranded as the FIBA EuroLeague in 1996), transitioned to Euroleague Basketball for the 2000–01 season. Despite the name change, both iterations are considered the same competition.

The EuroLeague stands as one of the world’s most popular indoor sports leagues, boasting an average attendance of 8,960 for league matches in the 2022–23 season. With 22 clubs having clinched the EuroLeague title, Real Madrid leads the pack with eleven championships, the latest of which was secured in 2023.

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