BLOG | by James Stibbs

2020 Buzz Report – How the NBA, Premier League and Formula 1 compare around the world

For the first time in our annual Buzz Report, we’ve examined the buzz which sports properties generate in markets around the world.

While you can download the full report here, we also thought it would be interesting to compile some of the data for a blog.

Here, we’ve selected three comparable (but not identical) sports properties – the NBA, the English Premier League and Formula 1.  As per our Buzz Report, we’ve taken each property’s peak score in 2019 from nine important markets to see how they compare.  There’s lots to take away from the data but here are some key insights.

  • F1 is the power property, racking up a total score of almost 150 across our markets. It would lead even if Brazilians were only half as crazy about the sport as they are. Its owners, Liberty Media, will be keen to create more noise on home territory – the US.
  • The Premier League and the NBA more or less level-peg with an aggregate score at around the 100 mark.
  • Looking for a solid audience for your sport? Start with the UAE. It scores all our selected properties more highly than most (and also other properties we looked at too).
  • In fact, the UAE scores the Premier League more highly than the league’s host country, and the NBA just as highly as Americans.
  • The NBA’s success in penetrating the Chinese market has been well-documented and that’s shown here. Although the sport had its troubles in China in 2019, which will have been reflected in Buzz scores over the year, the episode has not materially affected its peak score. Also worth noting is that the league equals or exceeds its US score in three other markets too (UAE, Brazil and Japan).
  • The Premier League gets people talking about it in a range of key markets. In this selection of markets (which we chose because of their importance to sports marketers), it’s only in Japan, Germany and the US where the league doesn’t push past a score of ten.
  • Encouragingly for the organisers of America’s Major League Soccer (not listed here), its competition peaks more highly than its English competitor.
  • Otherwise, the US scores the non-native properties here poorly – and again that’s the case among other non-domestic properties we looked at, like the Tour de France and the Rugby World Cup, for example.

For more international data, download our 2020 Buzz Report


With the Rugby World Cup, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the ICC Cricket World Cup all taking place, 2019 was a year packed with sport. The 7th edition of our annual Buzz Report will tell you which England side created the most positive world cup noise in 2019, as well as answers to a host of other questions.

BLOG | by James Stibbs

Media & Communications

James worked with governing bodies as high profile as The FA, the LTA, the ECB and the RFU, at his last in-house role as Head of Communications at the Sport and Recreation Alliance. James is a member of the PR Council and also chair of the PRCA’s Sports Group.