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.