50 Most Viewed Sports Videos on YouTube [Infographic]

What’s the most viewed video in the ‘sports’ category on YouTube? A funny own goal? A cat playing with a tennis ball? A fan getting kicked down steps? No, no and no. Surprisingly, it’s this video of a bodybuilder flexing his muscles (112m views)…

The Top 50 Sports Videos, Analysed…

We studied the top 50 sports videos on YouTube and published our findings in this infographic below…


Firstly, it’s 2012. You’d imagine a video from 2012 or 2011 would be in the top 50, right? These days videos go viral in hours… well, the top 50 chart contains no videos from 2012 or 2011. In fact the vast majority of popular videos come from 2006, 2007 and 2008 (41). Just 8 are from 2009 and 2010 combined.

Leading on from that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the quality of said videos is pretty poor. 36 out of 50 videos have a max resolution of 240p or 360p. Just 2 videos are of ‘HD’ quality.

We also noticed a few thumbnail images from the top 50 chart contained scantily clad women. We watched these videos from start to finish (you know, for science…) but discovered that most of those thumbnails were in fact misleading. The video thumbnail appeared for a brief second in a video which had nothing to do with said thumbnail. Does having a female in the thumbnail image of a video have an effect on views? If it does, it’s a well kept secret because just 6 of the top 50 video thumbnails contained humans of the female variety. 38 videos contained a male in the thumbnail image.

Finally, soccer came out on top in the ‘most popular sport’ battle. 17 of the top 50 sports videos on YouTube are soccer related. Fitness (mainly bodybuilding) comes second, weighing in with 9 videos, 7 of which were uploaded from the same account.

Want to check out the top 50 chart for yourself? Do it here. Just make sure you set your country to ‘worldwide’ and are viewing the ‘most viewed videos’ from ‘all time’.

Written by Sean MacEntee

Designer, United fan and Head of 25/7 Sports social media time-wasting department. My Google+, Twitter & Facebook