Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Americans enjoy watching sports.
Per the Sports Business Journal, of the 100 most-watched telecasts in 2022, 94 were sports. Of those 94, 82 were NFL games, a staggering amount.
There were also five college football games in the top 100 (the Rose Bowl and National Championship last January, both semifinals last week, Michigan-Ohio State), meaning that 87 of the top 100 games were football. That’s a dizzying amount.
So, what made up the rest of the list? There were no MLB or NBA games in the top 100. Just two nights of the Winter Olympics, the Opening Ceremony and the post-Super Bowl window, made the top 100. The Kentucky Derby was a top 100 entry for the first time since 2019. Two NCAA Tournament games and two World Cup matches cracked the list. Of the six non-sporting events in the top 100, four were political broadcasts, aired on various networks, one was the Academy Awards, and one was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
It’s wild to me that a random NFL window, like the Week 3 singleheader on CBS highlighted by Chiefs-Colts, can make the top 100 ahead of any game from the World Series or NBA Finals.
Sports is also dominant in the non-NFL top 50, making up 38 entries on the list. The 12 non-sporting events on that list include seven political broadcasts (which all aired on multiple networks), the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Academy Awards, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, an episode of 60 Minutes, and the National Dog Show.
That top 50 includes six more nights of the Olympics, three more college football games, the full six games of both the World Series and NBA Finals, three more NCAA Tournament games, and two more World Cup matches.