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Many around the sports world are well aware that the NFL is king when it comes to viewership in the United States. Based on a latest report on the 2022 Nielsen ratings data by Sportico, that continued to be the case last year.
The NFL accounted for 82 of the 100 most-watched U.S. TV broadcasts in 2022, according to the report. That smashes the previous record of 75 out of 100, a mark that the NFL reached in 2021.
Other broadcast subject categories were able to break through, but not nearly at the rate that NFL was. College football had five of the top 100 most-viewed telecasts, political programming finished with four, the World Cup with three and college basketball with two top-100 broadcasts. One-off events such as the Thanksgiving Day parade, the Kentucky Derby, the Winter Olympics and the Academy Awards also cracked the top 100 most-viewed broadcasts in 2022.
Unsurprisingly, Super Bowl LVI between the Rams and the Bengals on NBC led the way as the top American broadcast of last year, racking up 99.2 million viewers–nearly double the second-ranked broadcast. The NFC championship and AFC championship games came in second and third, followed by the memorable AFC divisional playoff game between the Bills and Chiefs at fourth.
This November’s late Thanksgiving Day Game between the Giants and the Cowboys rounded out the top five.
The NFL racked up 19 of the 20 most-viewed broadcasts last year, yielding only the No. 7 spot to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1. The next non-NFL broadcast that managed to land among the top ratings was coverage of the midterm elections across multiple networks in the 24th spot.
Perhaps the most remarkable illustration of the NFL’s dominance was how even the league’s regular season games smashed some of the most important games in other sports. The 2022 college football national championship and the World Cup final came in at No. 34 and No. 38 on the list respectively, behind 13 different non-playoff and non-holiday NFL games.