Sports events that make waves like the FIFA World Cup or Summer Olympic Games are unmissable spectacles. Not only do these global spectacles boast world-class athletes, but they have become cultural touchstones that unite people across cultures – marathons to high-octane soccer matches are some of the biggest sporting events held each year!

US audiences love sports events such as the Super Bowl and World Series, yet that doesn’t automatically mean these are the world’s most watched events as viewership rates vary according to country. To determine this list accurately, we analyzed ratings provided by International Broadcasting Authority (IBA), an organization providing global television audience measurements and ratings.

IBA data draws upon viewership figures from multiple countries to provide us with an accurate picture of different sporting events’ global appeal. Additionally, we considered in-person spectators attending each event and how many watched for its entirety, in addition to those using streaming services like Fubo.

Soccer and the Olympics were at the top of our list with four appearances each, which should come as no surprise given their global appeal. But some other events on our list might come as a shocker since they drew record television audiences worldwide: college atmospheres to two-wheeled battles in the Pyrenees: these sporting events have drawn billions of fans in and continue to do so!