America’s Top Searched Major Sporting Events by State

Feb 21 | By Lauren Chapman

From America’s favorite pastime to the international stage of the FIFA World Cup, the world of sports is full of excitement. And, with better technology such as Verizon Fios high-speed internet, sports streaming is more accessible to fans now than ever before. For example, the 2022 NBA Finals averaged 12.4 million viewers, and had the highest viewership in three years, with a 25% increase from the 2021 season.

This increase in sports viewership seems to be correlated to related internet searches. Our team at VerizonSpecials set out to find the top major sporting events Americans searched for in 2022, both on our home field and internationally—and we’re ready to share our findings. 

Stay tuned to see that the NBA Finals and March Madness, two elite basketball events, were ranked #1 and #2 on our list and other buzzer-beater facts!


We gathered a list of 25 major sporting events across the world and used SemRush, a marketing analytics tool that determines volume search, to find the top 10 events with the highest volume search. To determine the major sporting events each state searches the most we used Google Trends, a website that analyzes the popularity of top search queries across various regions.

Interesting findings

  • The FIFA World Cup is the sporting event with the highest viewership with a combined 3.572 billion views. Because the participants and viewers are international and the event only happens once every four years, viewership is always very high.
  • The NBA Finals was the most searched major sporting event within 13 different states. 
    • The 2022 NBA Finals averaged 12.4 million viewers, making it the most watched in three years with a 25% increase from the 2021 season. 
  • March Madness was the most searched event in 11 different states. 
    • March Madness is also known as the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.
    • The event is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States. It features 68 college basketball teams from Division I of the NCAA. 
    • The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. 
  • The Open Championship is the most searched sporting event within 10 states. 
    • The Open Championship, also referred to as The Open or the British Open, is the oldest golf tournament in the world—and one of its most prestigious. 
    • The Open has been hosted in three different countries: Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland. The highest hosting record is held by Scotland, and the highest hosting course is St. Andrews in Scotland. 
  • Monaco Grand Prix was the most searched in six states. 
    • The event is a Formula One motor racing event held annually on the Circuit of Monaco. It is one of the races, along with the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 hours of Le Mans, that form the Triple Crown of Motorsport. 
  • The UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup were each searched most in three states. 
    • The Champions League is an annual soccer competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations and contested by top-division European clubs. 
    • Unlike previous FIFA World Cups, which are typically played in June and July, because of Qatar’s intense summer heat and high humidity, the 2022 WC was played in November and December of 2022. 
  • The Daytona 500 was the top-searched event in two states. 
    • The Daytona 500 is the most anticipated and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar. It is also known as “The Great American Race” or the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing”.

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