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Which is bigger –  NBA or Premier League?

The NBA and the Premier League are two of the most popular sports leagues in the world, captivating millions and millions of fans. 

Which is the bigger NBA or Premier League? The Premier League is marginally bigger than the NBA if you look at statistics like revenue generated, attendance and fans. Although, the NBA does have higher average salaries than the Premier League.

The NBA and the Premier League are two of the biggest sports leagues in the world. But mainly due to football being a more popular game than basketball globally. The Premier League has a higher attendance rate as well as making more money per team, due to the size of the stadiums the big clubs play in.

What has higher attendance NBA or Premier League

If you take a look at the statistics, you may think that the NBA is the more popular league. In the 2018-19 season, the total attendance figure was 22 million, compared to 14.5 million for the Premier League. But this is because the NBA has many more games than the premier league. 

In the Premier League, there are 20 teams who play 38 games in a season. Whereas, in the NBA there are 30 teams who can play up to 110 games in a regular season and playoffs combined. This means there are many more NBA games and the average attendance shows a

much clearer picture on which league has the higher attendance. 

In that same 2018-19 season, the NBA averaged 17,857 people in attendance per game, whereas the Premier League averaged 38,168 people in attendance per game, more than double the figure of the NBA. 

The attendance difference is also shown by the difference in maximum attendances, with the biggest Premier League stadium holding 74,140, which is Old Trafford. The biggest arena in the NBA is the United Centre which holds just 20917 people, three times less than the biggest Premier League stadium. 

What has higher revenue NBA or Premier League 

If you take a look at the most recent revenue statistics, you would see that the NBA actually has a higher revenue than the Premier League. In the 2018-19 season, the NBA had revenue of £6.49 Billion, compared to £5.14 Billion for the Premier League. 

The figures look a lot more favourable if you take a look at the revenue per game or per team. Per team, the Premier League averages £257 million, compared to £217 million per team for the NBA, mainly because the NBA has ten more teams than the Premier League does. 

If you look at the revenue generated per game, it also makes the Premier League look much better. The Premier League averages around £13 million per game of revenue across the 2018-19 season. Whereas, the NBA averages just £4.95 million per game, mainly due to the NBA having around 1312 games per season, compared to 380 games per season in the Premier League. 

Why is the NBA the highest paying league

The NBA is the highest paying league in terms of the average salary, dwarfing other leagues like the NFL, MLB and Premier League. There are a few different reasons why the NBA is the best-paying league in the world. 

1. Not as many players 

The simplest reason for average salaries in the NBA being higher than those in leagues like the MLB, NFL and Premier League is because there are fewer players in the NBA. In a season, the maximum number of players signed in the NBA is 450 as 30 teams can each have 15 players on the roster. 

Whereas, the NFL has 1696 players because each roster is made up of 53 players and the NFL has two more teams than the NBA. Even with the Premier League having 10 fewer teams than the NBA, there are still more players. There are around 546 players in the Premier League, so both of these leagues have to split the revenues. 

2. Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) 

The Collective Bargaining Agreement is a contract between the NBA owners and the players association that dictates the rules around salaries, trades and roster sizes. Leagues like the Premier League do not have this same agreement and because the NBA has the CBA, players get more revenue than other leagues. 

It is partly because those disagreements have caused lockouts before, most recently in 2011 when the 2005 CBA had expired and there was a stalemate in negotiations over the division of the NBAs income, with players not happy to accept as big of an income reduction as the NBA was proposing. 

3. NBA is a star-driven league 

The NBA more than any other league is a star-driven league. There has really only been one team in the last three decades to win a title without a proper superstar on the roster. Having superstars on your roster is crucial to winning a title and it makes the top players more valuable in the NBA than other leagues. 

With only five players on the court at any time, a superstar can be much more impactful than in the Premier League or NFL where your team has eleven players on the field. It is why superstars are paid much more in the NBA than other leagues. 

NBA vs Premier League salaries 

The NBA has by far the highest average salary per player, with the average NBA salary being $8.32 million. The Premier League average salary was $3.97 million in the 2019/20 season, with both leagues seeing that decrease slightly due to the Covid 19 pandemic. 

In terms of the highest salaries, the NBA is also by far the highest. Cristiano Ronaldo has the highest salary in the Premier League due to his £515,385 per week contract which means he earns £26.8 million over the course of a year. 

Steph Curry is currently the highest-paid player in the NBA. In the upcoming 2022/23 season, Curry will earn $48.1 million which is £39.93 million. Curry is earning around £13 million more per season than Ronaldo is. 

The NBA is the highest paying league in the world, so it has the highest salaries out of any professional sports league in the world.