Baseball, basketball, soccer, and ice hockey are popular sports internationally. All these sports have popular leagues in the United States, such as MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL. The best players often have iconic status, and many fans attend games. These American sports leagues are some of the most profitable in the world, generating billions of dollars.
Major League Baseball (MLB)
American baseball has had a professional league for a period of more than 100 years. Its appeal across North and South America makes it one of the most profitable sports leagues. Players have large contracts, and major league baseball teams are hot assets. The Los Angeles Dodgers make the most revenue at $565 million, followed by the New York Yankees at $485 million. According to Forbes, the New York Yankees are worth $7.1 billion.
Americans have a great love for sports and enjoy betting. This means that leagues can earn revenue from sports betting. There are already many sportsbooks that operate in different states. Among many other games, betting on MLB is a popular activity throughout the country and the New Jersey sports betting market is one of the biggest outside Nevada.
National Basketball Association (NBA)
The NBA is an American sports league, but it is the most global American sports league and covers a large amount of international territory. It may be the youngest of the four leagues, but basketball is one of the top sports in the world, with numerous global fans.
The NBA teams generated combined revenues of about $10 billion in the 2021/2022 season. The Golden State Warriors and the New York Knicks are two valuable franchises. Athletes playing for NBA teams receive lucrative deals, and fans pack out stadiums.
National Football League (NFL)
While the NFL may not have much international appeal, it has a very devoted fan base in the U.S. The sport connects with Americans in a big way. The league came into being in 1920 by combining various teams from regional leagues. It has 32 teams located in the U.S., and the annual Super Bowl is an event fans enjoy watching on television. Football games are always well-attended.
The NFL’s revenue growth is huge, and it is the most profitable sports league in the U.S. and in the world. Lucrative television deals and merchandising are huge revenue generators. The NFL banked $2.7 billion in sponsorship revenue for the 2022 season. The Dallas Cowboys is the most valued NFL team at $7.64 billion, followed by the Los Angeles Rams.
National Hockey League (NHL)
The NHL is fourth in terms of American sports leagues, but it has a fiercely loyal fan base and draws talent from across the world. It is a professional ice hockey league that was founded in Canada, and the first U.S. team, the Boston Bruins, was added in 1924. The NHL has become one of the top-ranked ice-hockey leagues in the world.
The sport of ice hockey is most popular in the northern states closer to Canada. The NHL now consists of 32 teams, seven of which are based in Canada. The average NHL franchise is currently worth more than $1 billion.
The yearly revenue for the NHL is around $5 billion. This comes from T.V. revenue, gate receipts, concessions, and royalties from licensing. The NHL is also partnering in the rollout of legalized sports betting, which could become another source of revenue from people betting on games.