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Super Bowl vs. FIFA World Cup – A Comparison of Championships

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Updated January 31, 2024
10 min read

Every year, the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in the U.S. It’s so big that some believe the day after should be a national holiday so everyone can recover properly. But on a global scale, nothing is bigger than the FIFA World Cup, which decides the world champion in soccer. 

It’s often debated what sporting event is bigger, the Super Bowl or the World Cup. Well, we wanted to settle this debate using facts and figures rather than opinions. We wanted to look at everything from the audience to sponsorships to the money involved. Let’s check out our side-to-side comparison of the Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup.

Superbowl Fifa

What Is the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the championship game for the NFL. It concludes the season with a game between the winner of the AFC and the winner of the NFC, which are the two conferences that make up the NFL.

The two participating teams were among the seven best teams in their conference during the 17-game regular season and then survived a single-elimination, three-round playoff to reach the Super Bowl. The grueling NFL season begins in early September and concludes with the Super Bowl in mid-February, showcasing just how long and difficult the journey is to reach the Super Bowl and have a chance to play for a championship.

What Is the FIFA World Cup?

The FIFA World Cup is an international soccer tournament that’s held every four years. It brings together the national soccer teams of countries from all over the world with the goal of crowning the world champion of soccer. 

The process of qualifying for the World Cup takes place over a three-year period leading up to the tournament, so only the best teams in the world are present at the World Cup. Outside of the period during World War II, the World Cup has been held every four years since 1930. Between 1998 and 2022, the World Cup field consisted of 32 nations. However, starting with the 2026 World Cup, there are 48 nations participating. 

When Was the Last Super Bowl? And the Next?

The last Super Bowl was Super Bowl LVII. It was played in Glendale, Arizona on February 12, 2023. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35.

The next Super Bowl will be Super Bowl LVIII. It is scheduled for February 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It will be played between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

When Was the Last World Cup? And the Next?

The last World Cup took place between November 20 and December 28, 2022. It was played in Qatar with Argentina winning the world title and France finishing as the runner-up after a thrilling final match that was decided in a penalty kick shootout.

The next FIFA World Cup will be held in June and July of 2026. It will be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada with 16 different cities hosting games. This will be the first World Cup to have 48 teams participating.

How Many of Each Championships Have Taken Place?

To date, there have been 57 Super Bowls. There has been one Super Bowl every year since the first Super Bowl, which was held on January 15, 1967.

Following the 2022 World Cup, there have been 22 World Cups. The first World Cup took place in 1930 and they have been held every four years since then. However, no World Cup was played in 1942 or 1946 because of World War II. But since 1950, there has been no interruption to a World Cup being held every four years.

What Event Gets More Viewers - the Super Bowl of the World Cup?

It’s hard to compare viewership between the Super Bowl and the World Cup because the Super Bowl is a single event while the World Cup has dozens of games. However, for the final match of the 2022 World Cup, FIFA reported 1.5 billion viewers. In comparison, Super Bowl LVII between the Chiefs and Eagles had 115.1 million viewers. Also, the most-watched Super Bowl to date was Super Bowl LI between the Patriots and Falcons with 126.3 million viewers.

What Championship Makes More Money - the Super Bowl or the World Cup?

Similar to viewers, it’s tough to compare the revenue between a single event like the Super Bowl and an event that lasts several weeks like the World Cup. Nevertheless, the 2022 World Cup brought in an estimated revenue of $7.5 billion. That averages out to around $117 million per game. 

For comparison, the average Super Bowl generates around $500 million in revenue. Meanwhile, the NFL reported a total revenue of $18.6 billion during the entire 2021-22 season.

Which Players Receive a Bigger Paycheck - Super Bowl Winners or World Cup Winners?

After the 2022 World Cup, FIFA distributed roughly $440 million to teams based on their performance. The winning team was awarded the largest prize of $42 million. However, not all of that money is awarded to the players. Typically, players share 30% of the prize money, meaning each of the 26 Argentina players took home around $484,00 for winning the World Cup. Meanwhile, each player on the winning team for Super Bowl LVIII in February 2024 will make $164,000 each.

Which Championship Has More Expensive Advertisements - the Super Bowl or the World Cup?

During Super Bowl LVII in February 2023, the cost of a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl was $7 million. This was an all-time high and an increase from $6.5 million the previous year. Meanwhile, the highest cost for a commercial during a World Cup match is $1.18 million. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that soccer has no mid-game commercials other than during halftime, so there are fewer opportunities to show commercials during the World Cup.

Which Championship is More Popular - the Super Bowl or the World Cup?

No matter how you slice it, the World Cup will always be more popular than the Super Bowl. The fact that it’s only held every four years and attracts a global audience will always make it more popular than the Super Bowl, even if the Super Bowl remains the most popular sporting event in the United States. Even with the NFL gaining more fans in Europe and other parts of the world, it still falls short of the World Cup.

Even the combined viewership and revenue of the Super Bowl over a four-year period falls well short of what the World Cup. Granted, the Super Bowl tends to grow bigger every year. However, the FIFA World Cup every four years will always be the biggest and most popular sporting event on the planet.

Super Bowl vs World Cup

As you can see, the numbers don’t lie when comparing the Super Bowl with the World Cup. If you want to compare football and soccer domestically, we have an NFL vs MLS article that may interest you. Also, here is one more look at the facts and figures comparing the Super Bowl with the World Cup.

Super BowlWorld Cup
Revenue in 2022$500 million$7.5 billion - $117 million per game
Average Cost or 30-Second Commercial$7 million$1.1 million
Viewership in 2022115.1 million1.5 billion
Prize Money $164,000$484,000
Ticket Cost$12,000$1,600
Average Attendance 70,00053,125
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AUTHOR

Bryan Zarpentine

204 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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