NFL games were 41 of the 50 most-watched TV broadcasts of 2019

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The NFL continued to dominate American television in 2019.

Of the 50 most-watched television broadcasts of the year, 41 of them were NFL games. Ad Age has the full list, which is of course topped by the Super Bowl but also has run-of-the-mill regular season games that top any entertainment programming the networks air.

The nine programs among the Top 50 that were not NFL games were the State of the Union, the president’s border address, the Academy Awards, the College Football National Championship Game and one College Football Playoff game, Game 7 of the World Series, an episode of The World’s Best that CBS aired immediately following the Super Bowl, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Grammy Awards.

NFL ratings improved over from 2018 to 2019, although they were plenty strong in 2018, too. In the year ahead, the presidential election is likely to take some steam out of NFL ratings, as more viewers will watch news instead of sports. It also won’t help the NFL’s ratings that two presidential debates are scheduled on nights when NFL games are played. But while the NFL may take a ratings hit in 2020, there’s little doubt that a year from now, we’ll be looking back again and saying that football games represented most of the top broadcasts on television.

21 responses to “NFL games were 41 of the 50 most-watched TV broadcasts of 2019

  1. Lets not go crazy as attendance continues to fall and the NFL does not address their problems

  2. Not surprised at all, and the really amazing thing with NFL ratings is that I think the true audience is under counted. All the people watching at sports bars, restaurants, parties, etc. dont get properly counted IMO. And ust glad the kneeling nonsense seems to behind us, which is huge.

  3. No player protests and the viewership increases. Must be a coincidence. Like when the protests were happening everywhere and people quit watching.

  4. Since they haven’t been shoving Social Justice Warriors down my throat, I’ve started watching some of the games other than my home team’s games.

    But, like someone said on here before, we are watching millionaires playing in billion dollar stadiums for multi-billionaire owners. Is it really worth it? (wait, that was me!)

  5. And still they can’t afford faster, sharper officials that can keep up, see what happens in real time, and make quick, correct decisions that do not have to be questioned, reviewed, dissected and then overturned.

  6. More folks’ll watch now Booger’s-mobile is off the sideline and Gruden & Witten back on it.

  7. After watching my ravens kneel for the anthem yet stand for god save the queen I was one of those fans that said I would never watch again. Lamar jackson helped change my mind.

  8. melikefootball says: “Lets not go crazy as attendance continues to fall and the NFL does not address their problems”

    Losing 250,000 in actual paid 2019 attendance is about $50,000,000. Average viewership rose from 15.8m to 16.5m per game = 180,000,000 extra eyeballs over the course of a season. 2019 TV revenue at $9 BILLION dwarfs gate receipts.

    Yeah, pretty sure ANY company would take that trade-off in a heartbeat…

  9. melikefootball says:
    January 8, 2020 at 7:29 pm
    Lets not go crazy as attendance continues to fall and the NFL does not address their problems
    Attendance at the stadiums might he down but it’s not because people aren’t watching. The nfl home experience is better than it’s ever been. I’ve had my Sunday ticket and DVR since ’08. HD and whatever food or drinks I want and I can pause whenever I need to. I used to go to 1 or 2 games a year but haven’t been to a game in about 4 years now. NFL is still making billions in merchandise, tv deals and everything else you can think of.

  10. Deny all you want, but shifting the focus/attention away from politics and the Anthem protests helped the ratings (and disgruntled fans) return in a big way. That shift is proof the boycotters actually won.

  11. Wait. So the billionaire owners know what they are doing? They know how to make money? But, people boycotted! They told us here they were never watching another game. You know, because players kneeled. The first amendment. Oh well. I’ll be back again this weekend, and every weekend the NFL plays.

  12. Yep, of the top 50, the Cowboys were playing in 12 of them. America’s team, indeed.

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