By Chris King •
Updated: 21 Oct 2023 • 23:44
Image of two players kicking a ball.
THE recent release of the highly popular Netflix four-part docuseries ‘Beckham’ has seen the English football player David Beckham back in the headlines.
Sports docuseries featuring some of the globe’s biggest franchises and athletes have exploded in popularity recently. This prompted JeffBet to analyse data from IMDb in an effort to reveal the most popular sports docuseries of all time.
As a result, the British online casino operator compiled a list of the top 15 based on the number of user-generated votes each one received.
Revolving around the career of basketball superstar Michael Jordan and the legendary Chicago Bulls, who won six NBA championships and two three-peats.
As shown by the huge number of votes, this docuseries is widely considered to be the best sports documentary of all time. It offers a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most prominent athletes in one of the most dominant franchises.
There have been five seasons of Formula 1: Drive to Survive so far and it is highly likely that more will soon be confirmed. Co-produced by Formula One and Netflix, the first series was released in March 2019.
It documents the Formula One world championships up close, including behind-the-scenes footage of race days and features the sport’s superstar drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
Based on what started as a non-league soccer team in Wales struggling financially, whose ambition then turns to being promoted to the football league, Welcome to Wrexham was released in 2022 and is a multiple-award-winning docuseries.
Despite being unknown, the club was bought by Hollywood movie stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. This unlikely alliance has proved to be a favourable watch among audiences, even those who don’t usually consume football.
This 2021 Netflix documentary from the ‘Untold’ series examines the infamous 2004 NBA brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons.
The incident led to player suspensions and significant changes in NBA security, as well as in fan behaviour policies. Through interviews, archival footage, and analysis, the documentary delves into the incident, its causes, and its impact on the NBA and professional sports.
Released on Netflix in 2018, this docuseries follows the English football team Sunderland throughout the season. By documenting training, locker room and team talks, the series gives an insight into the inside workings of a football club.
It follows Sunderland during a particularly tumultuous time when they face the threat of relegation. Not only does the series follow the athletes and management of the team, but also the fiercely loyal fans who have invested their time and money into the club.
This docuseries follows the famous footballing dynasty of six top Manchester United players. It charts the rise of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and their teammates from the Red Devil’s football academy up to the moment they won the treble in 1999.
Released in 2022, this is the sixth part of the ‘Untold’ series. It follows an all-American college footballer named Manti Te’o, whose life turns upside down when his relationship is revealed to be a catfish. The docuseries explores the events in question, featuring the player and investigative journalists who hounded him.
An Amazon Prime Video original, this series offers a behind-the-scenes view of English football club Manchester City during the 2017-2018 season.
It follows superstar coach Pep Guardiola and covers their Premier League campaign and provides insights into the team’s inner workings, including training sessions, locker room interactions, and the lives of players and coaching staff.
Released in 2016, Last Chance U is a well-received sports documentary series on Netflix, revolving around the experiences of junior college football players and programmes in the United States.
The series primarily highlights the obstacles and potential pathways that student-athletes navigate as they aspire to advance from JUCO football to competing at four-year universities or, in certain instances, aiming for careers in the NFL.
A 2020 Netflix documentary series offering an inside view of the competitive cheerleading team of Navarro College in Texas. The show highlights the intense training and personal stories of the athletes.
The docuseries is centred on head coach Monica Aldama and the team’s journey to the National Cheerleaders Association National Championships.
Cheer has received praise for portraying the physical and emotional challenges cheerleaders face and the determination needed to excel in the sport.
Like other installments of the All or Nothing series, this 2020 Amazon Prime release offers an insight into training sessions, locker rooms and matchdays.
The series begins with the head coach of Tottenham Hotspur FC at the time fired from the job. We then see legendary manager Jose Mourinho take over for the 2019-2020 season. The docuseries also captures how the world of sport stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Released on Netflix two weeks before the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the programme explores corruption within football’s governing body.
The four-part docuseries documents the history of the FIFA organisation and the controversy surrounding countries that have hosted the World Cup in the past.
A 2022 Amazon Prime Video release narrated by the Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Kaluuya. It follows Arsenal during the 2021-22 season when Mikel Arteta, a former club captain, becomes head coach following the dismissal of the previous manager.
The series looks at a football team going through a transitional period as Arteta enforces disciplinary rules, stripping Aubameyang of the captaincy due to punctuality.
This docuseries was only released on October 4th 2023, however, it proved to be a favourite among Netflix fans, already accumulating enough votes to feature on this list.
The global icon, who played for some of the biggest football teams in the world, speaks out like never before alongside his wife, Victoria.
The Beckhams offer an insight into their lives, with input from David’s family, former teammates, and the legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
This Netflix 2022 release explores the most controversial transfer in the history of football when Luis Figo switched from Barcelona to play for arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Figo faced a great amount of hostility from the Barcelona fans and media over the infamous transfer. The docuseries explores how the transfer came about from different accounts, including Real Madrid’s president, the agent who proposed the transfer, and Luis Figo himself.
A spokesperson from JeffBet commented on the findings: ‘Sports docuseries have surged in popularity over recent years. Fans are interested in sports storytelling as they offer interesting behind-the-scenes content of the biggest sports franchises in the world, helping us understand the psyche of the most famous athletes in the world’.
‘Streaming giants Netflix and Amazon Prime are often competing with each other by releasing the most in-demand sports docuseries productions’, they continued.
They added: ‘So far, Netflix originals are coming out on top when it comes to sports storytelling, with nine sports docuseries in the top 15 as opposed to Amazon Prime which has three on the list, with its highly popular All or Nothing series’.
‘It’s also compelling to see Beckham place on the list despite only being released on October the 4th 2023. It speaks to David Beckham’s worldwide influence as not just a sporting icon, but a celebrity and fashion icon too’, they concluded.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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