well womens handbold and tenis is pretty popular, most female tenis players are hot, but I think the reason is deeper then that.
The cultural difference between USA and Europe is enormous. Just take schools for example, the American grade system is based on the idea of awarding the highest grade to the best student of the class, so that even if the second best student is almost as good as the best, he gets a significently worse grade because only one can get the top grade. In Europe grades are almost universially based on an absolute scale, where students are rewarded based on a fixed standard, this makes it theoretically possible for every single student in a specific class to get top grades. This means that in Europe it doesn't really matter if you are the best, as long as you are good, while in America the competition of being the best is more important then the actual quality of the work produced.
It reminds me of a study I once head off about hens.
We had 100 flocks of 6 hens and 1 cock that was divided into two groups. In one group these hens that individually lay the most eggs were selectively breaded while in the other group these flock of hens that collectivly lay the most eggs were selectively breaded. Can you guess which selective breading gave the best result and why?