Live sports can be wildly entertaining, giving viewers lots of ups and downs to enjoy (or endure). That emotional roller coaster has made live sports, and football in particular, especially popular among television viewers.
Data from Nielsen indicates that the National Football League was responsible for 45 of the 50 largest Nielsen-measured sports audiences in 2022. In fact, the top 32 events were all NFL games, with the 2021-22 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama coming in at number 33 among the year’s most watched sporting events.
Even the thrilling World Cup Final between Argentina and France was no match within the United States for the NFL, garnering 22.32 million viewers. By comparison, that year’s Super Bowl between the Rams and Bengals attracted 99.18 million viewers. Curiously, despite baseball’s designation as “America’s pastime,” Major League Baseball did not have a single game place among the 50 most watched sporting events of 2022.