NFL games were 75 of the 100 most-watched television programs of 2021

Group of people watch NFL Super bowl XLVIII on television, Feb. 2, Denver Broncos vs Seattle Seahawks
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The NFL has long dominated the American television landscape, but never more than in 2021.

NFL games were 75 of the 100 most-watched TV programs in 2021, according to Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal.

The Top 5 most-watched programs were the Super Bowl, NFC Championship, AFC Championship, Raiders-Cowboys Thanksgiving game and the Buccaneers-Saints NFC divisional round game.

Out of the Top 100, beyond the 75 that were NFL games, 11 were events from the Tokyo Olympics, seven were college football games and two were NCAA basketball games. The NBA, MLB and NHL did not put any games in the Top 100.

The only scripted program that made the Top 100 was the episode of The Equalizer that CBS aired immediately after the Super Bowl. Only four other non-sports programs made the Top 100: President Biden’s inauguration, President Biden’s April address to Congress, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

15 responses to “NFL games were 75 of the 100 most-watched television programs of 2021

  1. This might have just as much to do with the decline of broadcast television as the popularity of football.

  2. Does this have anything to do with people moving away from cable ? We have been kicking the idea around for a few months but can’t figure out where I’m going to get live sports (NFL/NHL/MLB) without having a 30 second delay on the game.I have probably watched more RedZone during the NFL season than all actual games combined. The games are so diluted with commercials they are hard to watch on the regular broadcast. Anyways, back to watching Beavis & Butthead reruns on Pluto lol

  3. I thought people were boycotting the NFL in droves because of kneeling/advocating for equal rights for all people. Perhaps the people claiming that were incorrect.

  4. The NFL owns live TV and will own live streaming in a matter of years. The question is can they use their power to stop the tech companies from destroying people like teens with their approach. I sure hope so

  5. Sports are really the only thing worth watching on regular TV. Regular TV programming is unwatchable. That is why Netflix had surged in Popularity because they produce alot of programming that people want to watch. They don’t have to worry about the Moms of America being offended and babysitting their kids for them.

  6. remember this next time someone tears into Goodell on how he has ruined the league which happens here daily it seems.

  7. As an older guy, I guess I’m not hip any more. I very rarely turn on a TV. The shows are absurd and it makes me worry that we are becoming a society of idiots. Who can watch such garbage?
    It’s little wonder the sports programs are leading shows.

  8. Yes, America loves to watch Tom Brady.
    Yes, America loves to watch Tom Brady LOSE. There, fixed it for you.

  9. Maybe this is why the same 3 commercials get played over and over on my local NBA and MLB teams’ broadcasts. Fewer people are watching cable TV.

  10. Don’t forget all of the sports betting, not to mention the daily drama that floats around the NFL. It’s “must see” TV…the best reality show on the air.

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