It is no secret that the NFL is a big part of American culture. Every Sunday, fans and families alike sit down together and watch up to 10 consecutive hours of football. Most people know it is the most popular sport in America. However, we may still underestimate how popular it is in America as a whole.
NFL Has 93% of 100 Most-Watched American Broadcasts in 2023
Recently, a list of the 100 most-watched American television broadcasts was revealed for the 2023 calendar year. The results were stunning, to say the least. Of the top 100 broadcasts, 93 of them were NFL games.
Ari Meirov shared a graphic that listed these results. He had a great quote, to sum up this list:
“There’s dominant, then there’s this.” -Ari Meirov
No Other Sport Made the List
On top of this, no other sport made this list. Admittedly, the NFL did not give other sports a lot of room to make this list. However, to emphasize how dominant football is as a whole, we need to look at the remaining broadcasts on this list.
So, there are seven remaining spots in total. Of those spots, three of those were taken up by college football broadcasts. One of the four spots besides that was taken up by the lead-out from the Super Bowl.
Some may even argue that the Thanksgiving Day Parade can be related to football. That is because the holiday itself has deep roots in football that goes back nearly a century and there is an NFL broadcast immediately following the parade.
Because of this, the NFL has felt bold enough to start broadcasting even more often. One notable event was the Christmas Day broadcasts between the NFL and NBA. The NFL games had as many as 31 million people watching this year while NBA games topped out at around five million people.
The takeaway of all of this should be that if you want to have a dominant television broadcast these days, you need to have football be part of it in some way, shape, or form.
Sports vs. Scripted Television
We have made clear that football is the most popular sport in America. However, the NFL also has a huge advantage over other television programs in general. That is because live television has mostly been immune from the rise of streaming.
There is still a desire to watch sporting events as they are happening. That is just not the case with scripted television programs that people can watch anytime on a streaming service. Older shows had tens of millions of people watching those programs at one time. Good luck getting that for anything outside of live broadcasts these days.