Champions League - Champions League final tops Super Bowl

Eurosport - Mon, 01 Feb 11:00:00 2010

The Champions League has surpassed the Super Bowl as the world's most-watched annual sporting event.

FOOTBALL 2008-2009 Barcelona-Manchester United (Trophy) - 0

The 2009 European final, won by Barcelona 2-0 against Manchester United in Rome, attracted 109 million viewers globally to pip the NFL's flagship game, which saw Pittsburgh Steelers triumph 27-23 over Arizona Cardinals, by three million.

While the vast majority of the gridiron event's viewers were domestic-based, the Champions League final's audience was more global, said the yearly report from Initiative Futures Sports and Entertainment.

"The Champions League has been better able to exploit the large burgeoning populations of the Asia-Pacific region," said the report's director Kevin Alavay.

"While the Super Bowl has secured free-to-air broadcasting deals in a number of important European markets such as the UK, France and Germany, its distribution and popularity in the key Asia-Pacific region lags far behind the Champions League."

Figures for both events have continued to grow despite increasing fragmentation in television broadcasting caused by the digital revolution, Alavay said.

Third in the list was Formula One's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - which showcased new world champion Jenson Button - with an average of 54m.

Usain Bolt's incredible world-record run in the men's 100 metres final at the World Athletics Championships was fourth with 33m.

The results are based on official data from national bodies, which measure viewing trends within the home.

Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

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