The 2023 #SportOnSearch report includes 9 more global sports properties than last year’s inaugural edition, ranking 28 leagues & series and a further 16 events & tournaments based on their 2022 Google Trends data against a previous 4-year average. 

Whether interest is increasing or decreasing in these properties is demonstrated by a review of last year’s data. 

Examining everything from the Formula 1 (F1) season to a boosted Masters at Augusta National, we look at which leagues, series, events and tournaments experienced the greatest search interest growth in 2022. 

Top 4 leagues and series

Interest in women’s football keeps growing 

The number of new viewers to women’s football increased as a result of the success of England’s Lionesses at a home European Championships and the FA Women’s Super League (WSL). 

27% of the 15.8 million new viewers in 2022 came via the Women’s Euros, 46% of those watching more women’s football as a result. 

Formula 1 keeps key markets gripped 

Interest in F1 increased in key markets despite the title race being less dramatic than the 2021 final. 

Max Verstappen retained his crown and a new generation of drivers (as well as the ongoing popularity of Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive,’) continued to captivate a crucial audience. 

An historic Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) season full of storylines 

2022 was WNBA’s most-watched regular season since 2006 (post season since 2007), with big on-court storylines such as the retirement of legend Sue Bird. 

Off the court, the ongoing detention of Brittney Griner added to overall search interest in the league/sport. 

Full stadiums in a revitalised Premier League

A 2021–2022 campaign of full stadiums and an improved viewing experience made for a more appealing product.  

2022 saw the climax of the first full season since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.  

That the title race was decided on the final day of the season only added to the excitement. 

Top 4 events and tournaments

The Tiger effect

The Masters was revitalised by the return of 15-time major winner Tiger Woods to golf’s most iconic tournament. 

Augusta National Golf Club also welcomed full-capacity crowds to the year’s first major championship since 2019. 

UEFA reforms elevate Europa League’s value 

Reforms to UEFA club competitions, including the introduction of the UEFA European Conference League, gave greater importance to the Europa League as the continent’s second most prestigious tournament after the Champions League. 

Major competition, major prize money

At golf’s third major of the year, a record high purse for a golf major was awarded at The US Open – this increased interest for neutrals as the PGA Tour/traditional tournaments sought ways to compete with the newly introduced LIV Golf Series and its huge incentives. 

Record IPL streaming rights deal

The streaming/TV rights for the IPL were sold for a record $6.02bn (£5.13bn). 

Disney-owned Star India retained the television broadcast rights to the Indian Premier League for 235.75 billion Indian rupees ($3.02 billion) while Viacom18, backed by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, secured the digital rights until 2027 for $3.05bn. 

The League once again showcased a mix of breakout homegrown players and world-renowned stars in 2022.